Understanding Trust Bundles

NATE uses Trust Bundles as the technical means for establishing scalable trust among organizations and to enable the secure sharing of health information among those who elect to rely on them. Each Trust Bundle includes the trust anchors of organizations that have elected to adopt a common set of policies and practices corresponding to a specific health information exchange purpose or use. Therefore, the trust bundles provide an authoritative, technical means to determine which organizations have adopted policies and practices that meet or exceed those policies and practices that you have chosen to require as a basis for trust. You can find the common set of policies and practices for each of NATE’s Trust Bundles here.

Exchange is enabled by loading one or more Trust Bundles in the trust store associated with your Direct messaging accounts. If all participants in a Trust Bundle – all organizations that have adopted the same policies and practices – likewise load the Trust Bundle, exchange can proceed, bi-directionally.

Trust Bundles are not exclusive. You can be represented in more than one Trust Bundle and load as many Trust Bundles as you like – from NATE or any other trust community – as long as you have elected to adopt the policies and practices required for that Trust Bundle and accept them as a basis for trusted exchange. You can also add individual trust anchors of organizations with which you have a one-to-one trust relationship, whether or not they are part of any Trust Bundle. For example, when you elect to rely on the NATE Blue Button for Consumers Trust Bundle (NBB4C), there is nothing that prohibits your organization from putting other restrictions in place as required by your local policy requirements– such as the presence of an OID or specific health domain name. Trust Bundles enable exchange, but do not require it.

Most Trust Bundles have both a production and a test bundle – the former used by production systems, and the latter used by systems for testing or demonstration purposes.

NATE publishes Trust Bundles as unsigned bundles with metadata as specified in the Implementation Guide for Direct Project Trust Bundle Distribution v1.0. NATE also provides Trust Bundles in a legacy ZIP format for organizations that have not yet implemented the Implementation Guide. This legacy format is deprecated and will likely be discontinued at the end of 2015.

NATE currently operates the following trust bundles:

NATE Blue Button for Consumers Trust Bundle (NBB4C)

NBB4C Staging

Demonstration Trust Bundle