Digital Health and INTEROPen have formed a partnership to accelerate the adoption of interoperability in UK healthcare.
Feedback has been positive on the INTEROPen FHIR curation process used to create CareConnect FHIR profiles to support UK clinical interoperability. The curation process was initially designed as a pilot for structured information sharing for Transfer of Care and GPConnect. This pilot has now come to an end and has been successful. As you will appreciate, the FHIR curation process, which underpins multiple NHS England and Digital work programmes, will need a suitable business case going forward.
The BETA versions of the Transfer of Care message specifications are now published; these are sufficiently mature to enable suppliers to development against. There are no plans to change the specifications other than to react to defects reported by implementers. The specifications can be found here
The Transfer of Care FHIR messages will use the ITK3 (Interoperability Toolkit) specification available here.
These standards emerged to address different concerns:
Philip Graham, Digital Programme Lead for the Lancashire and South Cumbria Sustainability and Transformation Partnership attended the May 2018 INTEROPen Board to present a paper on a prototype Events Management Service (EMS) which he and his team have been developing. This service allows systems that capture clinical data, such as maternity, GP, health visiting, school nursing, A&E, etc. to publish or send events in real-time to a middleware service, the EMS.
United by a common mission to improve interoperability across the NHS, INTEROPen has been working closely with NHS England, NHS Digital and techUK to develop a software Supplier Interoperability Questionnaire which, after much testing and tweaking, we now invite and encourage your organisation to complete.
On 22 May 2018, Luke Readman, Co-Chair of INTEROPen, Lorraine Foley, CEO of The PRSB and Dr Ian Bullock, CEO of The Royal College of Physicians, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreeing to ‘work together to advance interoperability across the NHS and social care through engagement of clinicians and care professionals patient/carer representatives, vendors and informaticians’.
The PRSB, INTEROPen and the RCP have taken this decision to formally recognise the strengths of each party and to foster an open and transparent business relationship, based on trust and mutual respect. The parties will develop collaborative, compelling and value for money responses to work packages, the first of which is detailed in the MoU. It is proposed that the partnership will secure the delivery of an end-to-end model, ensuring that professional standards are embedded into digital solutions using interoperability open standards, such as INTEROPen CareConnect FHIR profiles, and adopted into everyday practice to improve the information-sharing that underpins safe and effective care. With over 140 vendor organisations as members, including techUK, INTEROPen recognises the role of vendors as a crucial partner in this end-to-end model for the delivery of interoperable systems.
This partnership will be underpinned by the following core principles (abridged from MoU):
NHS England is inviting proposals for Local Health and Care Record Exemplars (LHCRE) that can “raise the bar” in how the NHS, and its partners, share information safely and securely to help deliver better care for our populations.