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NHSX states priorities for interoperability standards

01/10/21

Mark Say Managing Editor

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A leading official of NHSX has outlined five priorities, including the provision of a new strategy and governance model, in the development of interoperability standards for the health service.

Data abstract

Irina Bolychevsky, director of standards and interoperability for the digital policy unit in the Department for Health and Social Care, said that while important progress has been made in building interoperability between systems, there is still a lot to do.

It is leading work to build standards that will work for the NHS, the social care sector and technology suppliers.

Bolychevsky said the first priority will be to create a new end-to-end process and governance model for standards development, to ensure they are co-developed with key users and communities and fit-for-purpose. This will include clear accountabilities, responsibilities and hand-offs.

Second comes a plan for a standards and interoperability strategy, which should be clearly understood by technical staff and clinicians and provide a framework for dealing with the key challenges.

Next comes the publication of an open source playbook to provide guidance and advice to providers and commissioners looking to implement open source solutions.

Then comes a long term roadmap setting out a pipeline for implementation of existing standards and the development new ones. This will include a timeline for moving from one version to another.

All this will be accompanied by the launch of a portal including a registry of standards used across health and social care. This will be aimed at providing clarity on which ones are applicable to use cases, and include community features to support more collaboration and sharing.

Bolychevsky invited organisations to get involved in the initiative through [email protected].

“Our goal is to deliver tangible benefits to the health and care service by developing and improving the governance, framework and processes to support standards which get widely adopted across the system,” she said in a blogpost.

“The process for standards development and compliance will be streamlined through a robust model for standards development and implementation. This will be supported with clarity on what exists, what is required and which suppliers and systems are conformant.”

Image from iStock, kanawatvector

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