Interoperability

Further information on the recently launched Code4Health Interoperability Community can be found below.

Newly released Interoperability Handbook to help create your local digital roadmap.

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, Vanguards and the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund.

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.

At a national level, we have brought together national organisations such as NHS England, NHS Digital, Department of Health as well as local Chief Clinical Information Officers and Chief Information Officers across health and social care through the Interoperability Board to outline the overall direction of travel and look to ensure strategic co-ordination across national activities.

Created in conjunction with leading localities, a number of specific tools are being developed as part of the Interoperability Offers, listed below. These are aimed at providing practical guidance to local organisations wishing to take forward their local decision-making whilst aligning to this national direction:

  • Business Justification – Build a business case for investment in Integrated Digital Care Records
  • Information Governance and standard templates – Check I am in line with Information Governance guidance
  • Citizen Engagement – Allow citizens an easy way of engaging with their care records
  • Clinical Engagement – Provide clinicians with open-source components to deliver integrated care records
  • Open interfaces – providing re-usable interfaces so that systems and software can talk to each other
  • Interoperability Handbook – Understand the interoperability options you can take and how to procure using interoperability tools and standards

image with the words Code 4 Health, Interoperability Community

NHS England announced in November 2015 the launch of the Code4Health Interoperability Community. Bringing together interested parties from a local and national level, as well as the supplier market, this community will create a common and open set of APIs to support information sharing across health and care.

The outputs of this community will be shared to provide interfaces that can be used by organisations working towards becoming paper-free at the point of care by 2020.

Contributions from a clinical as well as an IT perspective are vital to the success of this community.

More information is available on the interoperability community page.

Contact us

Email: england.interoperability@nhs.net