Connecting for Better Health Launches California’s First Community-Focused Virtual Testing Environment for Health and Social Data Exchange

The Data Exchange Framework Sandbox will enable health and social service providers and payers to securely and rapidly test, collaborate and scale, advancing compliance and innovation

LARKSPUR, Calif.Feb. 15, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Connecting for Better Health (C4BH), the nonprofit coalition dedicated to advancing data exchange in California, today announced that it has launched the Data Exchange Framework (DxF) Sandbox in collaboration with technology and innovation leader EMI Advisors and other key public and private partners. The virtual testing environment, the first of its kind, will allow health and social service organizations participating in the DxF to seamlessly plan, design and adjust workflows to fully realize the value and promise of the DxF.

“The Data Exchange Framework goes beyond regulatory guidance; it is the foundation for health and social service providers and payers to realize the power of data and community-led innovation,” said Timi Leslie, Executive Director, C4BH. “The DxF Sandbox is integral to this movement, creating a secure landscape that enables safe, rapid and meaningful collaboration through a level playing field for all DxF Participants.”

The DxF Sandbox is uniquely open to the community, serving as a dynamic learning environment for providers, community-based organizations, health plans, public health agencies and social service organizations to pursue cutting-edge data sharing approaches with meaningful cross-sector collaboration. This safe environment is integral to the success of the DxF, given the multiple electronic health records (EHRs), data stores, care management platforms, interoperability interfaces, and APIs that must be able to share information to effectively coordinate care and ultimately improve health outcomes.

“The DxF Sandbox is unique because unlike most sandbox environments, it is a community sandbox,” said John Ohanian, Chief Data Officer, California Health & Human Services Agency (CalHHS). “It meaningfully convenes ideas and approaches and develops digital artifacts to help the community reach consensus, which is critical to overcoming data exchange challenges.”

The DxF Sandbox will:

  • Launch with three priority use cases focused on event notification and discharge planning, post-acute referrals and longitudinal health record generation. Additional applications will be continuously tested and implemented to meet real-world needs.
  • Accelerate DxF adoption by providing a virtual onramp to the framework, enabling organizations with different types of data platforms to participate in the testing environment.
  • Produce shared public data exchange assets, including detailed implementation plans, legal and regulatory guidance, patient-facing documents and other educational materials.
  • Identify and address gaps in technology and policy by delivering a shared understanding and agenda among DxF Participants, policymakers and regulators, such as supporting connections between Qualified Health Information Organizations (QHIOs), identity and consent management, alert management, and harmonization of state and federal interoperability requirements.

The DxF Sandbox is supported by early adopter health plans, including Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California, Health Net, and L.A. Care Health Plan, with additional grant funding from Amazon Web Services’s Health Equity Initiative, Cedars-Sinai, and the CalHHS Center for Data Insights and Innovation.

To stay connected with C4BH and the DxF Sandbox, visit and sign up for the C4BH round-up newsletter.

About Connecting for Better Health (C4BH)

Connecting for Better Health is dedicated to advancing health and social data sharing to improve the health of all Californians. Our nonprofit coalition of diverse stakeholders have a shared vision that every Californian and their care team will have the information and insights they need to make care seamless, high quality, and affordable. To realize the full potential of data sharing, we provide a forum for members to discuss policy developments, share the latest innovations, and develop a collective outlook to bring awareness to and influence policy at the state and federal levels. For more information, visit and follow us on LinkedIn


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