Without wanting to sound too cliched, Interoperability is as much about the journey as the destination. Whilst it is easy to pull out a definition of Interoperability as being “the ability to exchange information between systems and for the receiving system to be able to process and reason on that data” we have to understand there are dependencies in getting there.
We need a standard information model that covers all the health and care data we want to exchange. FHIR is the first information model that will cover all the data but, as a global standard, it is currently incomplete and only a small part of it has been curated and localised, where necessary, for England.
IT Suppliers need to open up their systems to both generate and consume data based on the standard information model. Again, it is going to take time for IT Suppliers to achieve this as, once it is known what is required, it has to be planned into their roadmaps. In some cases, the contracts they are working to may have to be changed, which will also take time.
What INTEROPen is doing, in working with the NHS England CCIO, NHS England, the Service, Standard Bodies, and Suppliers, is prioritising the FHIR resources to curate and then implement. It will take time to curate even 95% of the data required, but the fact we have started with Transfers of Care and the Patient Summary for CareConnect APIs means we are addressing the most important data first.