With new models of care emerging and evolving, there is a clear need for more effective information sharing between care settings, organisations and geographies, as well as between professionals and citizens, to optimise patient outcomes and quality of care. This is reliant on the ability of IT systems across health and care to be interoperable with one another, and is key to the delivery of the future vision of care in England, as described in the National Information Board’s ‘Personalised Health and Care 2020 – A Framework for Action’.

More integrated ways of working across health and care are necessary to enabling care professionals and citizens manage care better, such as those being delivered through new models of care and initiatives including and driven by Integration Pioneers and Vanguards.

Our system-wide move towards interoperability focuses upon the following areas:

Driving forward priority standards e.g. such as the pervasive use of NHS Number, the move off paper to electronic transfers of care starting with a standard and structured discharge summary from Acute to primary care

  • Outlining the interoperability aspects maturity as part of the wider Digital Maturity Index
  • Outlining the key priority use cases for interoperability to help prioritise standards development but also provide the business justification for local investment in interoperable solutions
  • Tools and products to enable local organisations to more effectively choose which interoperability approach they may use
  • Outing the interoperability strategy and taking forward its different aspects in conjunction with what is happening locally through the pioneers and vanguards.

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