A draft standards and interoperability strategy has been published with the aim of driving interoperability across the NHS and social care.

The Faculty of Clinical Informatics (FCI) was commissioned by the NHS England and Improvement Transformation Directorate to help them with consultation on the proposed strategy which involved stakeholders from across health and care.

The overall aim of the document is to improve levels of interoperability across the NHS and social care through the development and adoption of standards. This includes an overview of the challenges and opportunities, clarifies definitions of key terms and outlines the main proposed solutions.

According to the strategy there are a number of “foundations of success” which include “understanding and overcoming current barriers to implementation” and “introducing a mechanism to identify which vendors’ systems are conformant”.

When looking at what needs to be done, the document says there are five steps needed in order to drive adoption.

They are:

  • Define a model care record
  • Define the architectural approach
  • Make it easier to implement standards
  • Manage standards as a product
  • Make it commercially attractive to develop standards-compliant software

According to the FCI, the draft strategy is in line with the ‘Data Saves Lives: Reshaping health and social care with data’ and the forthcoming ‘Data Architecture Strategy’.

Now the draft strategy has been published the NHS Transformation Directorate and the FCI are keen to gather feedback.

Feedback can be submitted via an online survey or through a number of digital focus groups which are taking place in May.

Anne Marie Cunningham, vice chair of FCI, said: “With the advent of Integrated Care Systems (ICS) interoperability has never been more important.

“Please take the time to shape the NHS Transformation Directorate’s Standards and Interoperability Strategy by joining the consultation and providing your feedback”.