INTEROPen: A Year in Review

Earlier this month, INTEROPen delivered an interoperability update to the Royal College of GPs, looking at the work and progress made by the INTEROPen community, including FHIR curation with the RCGP Health Informatics Group, over the last year. The result is this link-packed review, including considerations, challenges and next steps.

​FHIR Curation: creating open standards since 2017

  • FHIR Curation Timeline
  • FHIR Curation uses a multidisciplinary co-production method to create UK localised “CareConnect” FHIR profiles to support semantic interoperability
  • Provides clinical and technical assurance to ensure CareConnect FHIR profiles support the information exchange needs for clinical use cases

INTEROPen FHIR Curation Team

FHIR Curation evolving methodology

Method improved using participant feedback and Lessons Learnt sessions

FHIR Curation Achievements

Community Achievements, Education & Events

INTEROPen End-to-End Standards into Practice model

(description for model can be found here)

NHS Digital programmes requesting FHIR curation:

  • Basic Pathology (in progress) – National CCIO 7 priority
  • OneLondon LHCRE – INTEROPen – NHS Digital tripartite project
  • GPConnect – remaining GP record
  • GP2GP – to create a FHIR version
  • Digital Medicines
  • Ambulance to Emergency Care handover
  • Appointments

Interoperability Challenges & Considerations

  • No formally “agreed” national interoperability curation BAU service –
    need trusted co-production partnership with NHS Digital, NHS England, PRSB and INTEROPen
  • No published / overarching governance model for maintenance and life-cycle management for CareConnect FHIR profiles –
    limited development tools (could use OpenEHR CKM)
  • Need investment in education and hackathons
    e.g. Open Platform, OpenEHR, FHIR – synergies, differences
  • Work with PRSB to enhance professional standard definitions
    e.g. heart rate vs pulse rate
  • Slow uptake by First of Type sites – need to Improve demand-pull and supplier-push together
  • Need for adaptive leadership to solve the wicked problem of interoperability

Next Steps

  • Champion Local Initiatives OneLondon LHCRE-INTEROPen-NHS Digital project
    • Prioritise adoption of standards into the service: invite other regions / vendors / providers to implement FHIR CareConnect profiles as part of a local information sharing project; colleagues need to commit funding and resources

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