The Sequoia Project is a non-profit, public-private, non-profit collaborative corporation that has been chartered to promote the implementation of a secure and interoperable exchange of health information at the national level. The Sequoia project focuses on solving real interoperability issues and brings together public and private actors in forums such as interoperability cooperation to overcome obstacles. Sequoia also supports several independent interoperability initiatives, such as the Patient Unified Lookup Service for Emergencies (PULSE), a system used by health volunteers to treat people injured or displaced by disasters. The Sequoia project is also the recognized coordinating body (CER) for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health it`s Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA), for which it will develop, implement and maintain the TEFCA common agreement component and operate the process of designating and monitoring the Qualified Health Information Network (QHIN). For more information on the Sequoia project and its initiatives, visit www.sequoiaproject.org. Follow Project Sequoia on Twitter: @SequoiaProject. TEFCA provides a framework for the exchange of patient information, which is absolutely necessary for our industry to improve our ability to fill our data silos. The goals that have pushed TEFCA to this point are good, but the road ahead will not be easy. In general, the goal is “more data where it is needed.” While this may be helpful, many of us know that more is not necessarily better. For TEFCA`s objectives to be achieved, there is still an ugly barrier.
This problem is the quality of the data we have and that we share. Until we better control the quality of our data in each participant, we have the inherent risk of sharing a virus instead of a cure. If you look at our schoober analogy, you want to make sure your student has been vaccinated properly before sending him to school to avoid a measles outbreak. To address this issue, I think we need to think about how to improve the quality of the information we share. I don`t want to sound pessimistic. I think the TEFCA is a big step in the right direction. All we need to know is that we may not get the results we expect until we address the data quality issue. If we don`t get these results at first, we should resist the urge to throw the baby out with the bathwater. If we break the data quality barrier, we will be much better off with something like LEFCA. The ONC has allocated approximately $1.1 million per year to our cooperation agreement with the Sequoia Project, the recognized coordinating body (CEN), to support the implementation of the TEFCA.