NextGen Healthcare Announces Intent to Apply for TEFCA QHIN Role

Officials said that NextGen Healthcare's interoperability experience has primed the health IT vendor to become a TEFCA QHIN.

Health IT vendor NextGen Healthcare has announced that it will apply to become a Qualified Health Information Network (QHIN) under the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA).

TEFCA will bring health information networks together to help ensure that providers have access to complete, longitudinal health records for patients no matter where they seek care.

NextGen Healthcare supports more than 100,000 providers with its ambulatory EHR and practice management solutions. Additionally, one-third of health information exchanges (HIEs) across the country leverage NextGen Healthcare's interoperability tools.

If selected by ONC as a QHIN, NextGen Healthcare will participate in a network of organizations that work together to share clinical data. QHINs will share information with other QHINs, facilitating healthcare interoperability.

"Interoperability is the key to whole person health, and NextGen Healthcare is already a leader in facilitating the open exchange of data," David Sides, president and chief executive officer of NextGen Healthcare, said in a press release.

"With the infrastructure already in place, applying to become a QHIN is the next logical step and aligns with our mission of empowering every member of the care continuum with the data necessary to make the best decisions possible," Sides added.

The company's interoperability work includes NextGen Share, a cloud-based tool that provides access to several national interoperability networks. The secure platform enables NextGen Healthcare to establish a QHIN successfully.

EHR vendor Epic also recently announced its plan to join TEFCA. Epic worked with ONC, The Sequoia Project, and the broader healthcare community to build consensus around the standards and procedures of TEFCA.

"Our fundamental goal is to help all patients receive informed, personalized care—regardless of where they go to receive it," Dave Fuhrmann, senior vice president of interoperability at Epic, noted in a press release. "Our customers have led the way with large-scale interoperability through Carequality, and we're happy to help with the next stage in the evolution of interoperability."

ONC and The Sequoia Project announced the publication of TEFCA in February.

"We want to create a uniform for interoperability so that every authorized user, including individuals, have a baseline expectation of being able to get basic medical record information securely and reliably across the network, regardless of where they are geographically or which vendor or technology they're using," Mickey Tripathi, national coordinator for health IT, said in a press briefing at the time of the announcement.

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