Canada Infoway is one of the big health informatics mover in Canada. They have a set of interoperability solutions for developers to enhance electronic health records (EHR) and user interfaces to improve sending and receiving standard-bases interoperability messages.(1) Very briefly, they are as follows:
- Message Builder: allows developers to concentrate on business obstacles in integrating their solutions to EHRs.
- InfoCentral: helps developers find all documentations and specifications needed to implement HL7.
- Testing Environment: allows developers to test implementation of HL7 and its integration to EHR.
- Terminology Tools: composed of terminology libraries, subsets and maps.
- Message Re-Mixer: helps pan-Canadian Standard (pCS) messages meet required jurisdiction rules.
In addition, eHealth Ontario is playing an important role in EHR interoperability through IT and innovation.
Interoperability and standardization is becoming a major issue in healthcare systems around the world. According to a very recent news, dated Nov. 6, there are continuous improvements in that matter in the United Kingdom. According to the Wall Street Journal,(2) British Telecommunications (BT) company and Harris Corporation, an international communications and information technology company, collaborated to enhance the country’s health care interoperability. Their main goal is similar to Canada’s, where they strive to develop a more efficient, connected healthcare community. What also amazed me is that now vendors are uniting to promote interoperability, according to CIO.(3) They are the top five EHR vendors that formed a group called CommonWell Health Alliance. The group’s solution on interoperability is to “form an industry consortium” that will embrace standard and protocols in health care that will be cost effective, trusted and provides availability of information to patients. In that sense, I believe that collaboration between vendors, hospitals, other clinical settings, along with health care providers and patient, will bring the utmost benefits and usefulness of these systems and will help provide the best health care possible.
- Interoperability Solutions. Canada Health Infoway 2013. Available from: https://www.infoway-inforoute.ca/index.php/programs-services/interoperability-solutions
- Harris Corporation Teams with BT to Improve Health and Social Care Interoperability in the United Kingdom. The Wall Street Journal. November 6, 2013. Available from: http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20131106-906513.html
- CIO. April 15, 2013. Is Healthcare IT Interoperability (Almost) Here? Available from: http://www.cio.com/article/731757/Is_Healthcare_IT_Interoperability_Almost_Here_