Standardisation & Simplification

Objectives:

When considering eHealth services and how they can support the information sharing and collaboration needs of integrated care, the task can be made easier if the number of different systems in use, and the formats in which they store data, can be simplified. Practically, this means trying to consolidate data centres, standardising on fewer systems, and agreeing on what informatics standards will be used across a region or country.

  • Simplification of infrastructure; fewer integration points to manage; easier interoperability.
  • Consolidation of applications and data centres into fewer sites.
  • Regional standardisation on fewer (or single) solutions.
  • Ability to view and exchange medical data from different systems across diverse care settings.

Indicators of maturity:

Use of international standards (e.g. HL7, ICD, SNOMED) and profiles (e.g. IHE XDS, Continua Design Guidelines); reduction in total number of different applications; regional procurements to replace diverse applications with more integrated systems (e.g. a regional electronic patient record); policy mandates requiring information to be made available in agreed formats.

Assessment:

  1. No systematic attempt to standardise the use of citizen health & care data, or to simplify systems in use
  2. Debate on information standards (e.g., coding, formatting); exploration of options for consolidating ICT
  3. A recommended set of agreed information standards at local level; a few local attempts at ICT consolidation
  4. A recommended set of agreed information standards at regional/national level; some shared procurements of new systems at regional/national level; some large-scale consolidations of ICT underway
  5. A unified set of agreed standards to be used for system implementations specified in procurement documents; many shared procurements of new systems; consolidated data centres and shared services widely deployed
  6. A unified and mandated set of agreed standards to be used for system implementations fully incorporated into procurement processes; clear strategy for regional/national procurement of new systems; consolidated datacentres and shared services (including the cloud) is normal practice.
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