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System Interoperability

Across healthcare there are a large number of digital systems and software applications across a number of trusts.

Through interoperability, we scope and implement solutions which allows the seamless sharing of information across the wider health and care economy. This enables healthcare workers to have access to the information they need when they need it.

Interoperability is the capability of different information technology systems and software applications to communicate and exchange data within and across organisational boundaries using established standards and frameworks.

The interoperability of digital systems and applications within the NHS is seen as an essential requirement for both the current and future enablement of information sharing across the NHS and wider sectors such as social care.

Locally, NHS Informatics Merseyside has been working closely with health and care services to support the digital vision of the NHS Long Term Plan by delivering safe and efficient ‘seamless’ care through the development of a joined up information exchange across health and social care services. In order to create this information exchange, NHS Informatics Merseyside is leading and supporting a number of key digital programmes across Cheshire and Merseyside with focus being on a shared health and social care record programme and population health initiatives for people living across the North West Coast.The ambition of this programme is to implement a holistic approach to information sharing which allows every health and social care practitioner to have direct access to the information they need wherever it is held, digitally on a 24x7 basis.  

This work has already seen the implementation of a longitudinal record and population health solution across local NHS organisations to improve clinical outcomes for the people across the North West coast. 

The Interoperability service also supports a number of key initiatives for both local and  national requirements. This work has resulted in several digital solutions being designed and implemented for clinical hubs supporting extended GP access centres, as well as facilitating the safe transfer of care standards. 

Recently, the Interoperability Service has also supported the implementation of GP Connect into a number of GP practices to allow more seamless interactions between primary care and national initiatives such as NHS 111. This was enhanced by the development of further solutions for pathways such as urgent and out-of-hours providers to directly refer into emergency departments at the local hospital trusts again using GP and Care Connect approaches.

The focus of the Interoperability Service is to understand and ‘solutionize’ complex requirements for information sharing. This may take the form of already established technical options or bespoke multi-functional approaches. Ultimately, the service ensures there are workable, scalable, and supported information sharing solutions which appear seamless to the end-users.