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“Don’t ask what interoperability can do for you or your organisation, instead ask what you can do make interoperability a reality” 

As we move forward into the new year, with our resolutions tethering on the brink of being broken, postponed or erased from our minds. There is one resolution, I feel needs to be reaffirmed especially for CCIO’s whose role it is to implement the Government’s NHS 5 year forward View – That is to stay committed to the `Interoperability agenda’. For without it, the aims to bring about improvements in the health and wellbeing of local communities and provide a better experience of care for patients and delivering lower per capita cost for the taxpayer, will not be realised.

interoperability healthcare

 

So what needs to be done?

As a CCIO, a bold step would be to leverage the EPR vendors to make good on their promises by referring back to the technical requirements for the deployed EPR – go through this document with a fine tooth comb, and hidden amongst the many wants should be a reference for the EPR to be able to connect/share data with other systems.

The general perception amongst many key stakeholders is that this is risky territory, born out of an unwarranted fear of upsetting the relationship between supplier and the trust.  Well for a start, there really is nothing to fear. As the commonly used acronym goes –  F.E.A.R is merely ‘false evidence appearing real’.  The majority of EPR suppliers signed up to Tech UK Charter and INTEROpen, the supplier lead action group set up to rapidly advance the development of open standards for Interoperability within the Health and Social Care sector. Late 2016 INTEROPEN opened up its membership to non-vendor applications and individuals with the technical and clinical expertise that wanted to get involved.

There is no doubt interoperability offers a tremendous opportunity for the NHS. It should, at its bare minimum, seek parity with other industries such as Banking and Retails that are benefitting from a wider range of applications and devices (IoT), cheaper operational costs, more secure transactions, and are less reliant on paper.

You can make a difference!

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