Personal health information standards

HISO has endorsed the Patient Summary Standards Set (PSSS) and International Patient Summary (IPS) as source standards for personal health information

Data standards for personal health information 

HISO has endorsed the Patient Summary Standards Set (PSSS) and International Patient Summary (IPS) as source standards for personal health information in New Zealand. HISO 10078 is the following statement.  

In 2017/18, the Ministry of Health-led national electronic health record indicative business project documented information needs and gaps under a set of headings: demographics, allergies, flags, immunisations, medical history, medications, social/environmental and diagnostics. This extended to care plans and transfer of care, as well as consumer-generated information. Requirements were explored for a number of personas with different health and wellness needs. See the attached poster for details: Core Personal Health Information: Draft data requirements for the national Health Information Platform (nHIP) - September 2019 (PDF, 113 KB).

See also the attached commentary on US regulations for interoperability and patient access.

Patient Summary Standards Set (PSSS)

The PSSS is a guide to a set of coherent standards and related materials for core personal health information and an interoperable patient summary. It was published in 2018 by the Joint Initiative Council for Global Health Informatics Standardisation (JIC), a collaboration between ISO/TC 215, HL7 International, SNOMED International, GS1 and other recognised standards organisations. JIC’s stated purpose is to contribute to better patient outcomes by leading the specification of sets of implementable standards for health information sharing.  

Designed for acute and unplanned care, the PSSS covers patient identification and demographics, allergies, alerts, vaccinations, problems and health issues, procedures, medicines, smoking/alcohol/diet, diagnostics and vitals, functioning and pregnancy. Within this scope, the PSSS is a suitable reference and starting point for personal health information and Hira, the national health information platform. Using PSSS will save us effort and ensure we have a coherent approach to the standards we apply, in a way that we can reasonably expect our industry partners to support.  

PSSS does not address the full scope of requirements related to care plan, transfer of care and consumer-generated data. Subjective personal information that shapes the whole patient journey across multiple services and providers, including the influential social factors of 'who I am' as a patient and consumer, is also not within scope for PSSS. These requirements need different reference points and it will be essential to consider all their aspects when developing standards.

International Patient Summary (IPS)

The PSSS is a source of requirements for two more detailed specifications. ISO 27269:2021 Health informatics — International patient summary is a normative data standard that derives from the PSSS.

At the next level, the HL7(R) FHIR(R) International Patient Summary Implementation Guide is the standard specification for IPS data exchange via application programming interfaces (APIs).

New Zealand is working with other members of the Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP) to implement the IPS. IPS is used in WHO's Digital Documentation of COVID-19 Certificates (DDCC) and IPS's growing importance is reflected in the G7 Health Ministers’ June 2021 statement:

We commit to work towards adopting a standardised minimum health dataset for patients’ health information, including through the International Patient Summary (IPS) standard, with the shared objectives of facilitating health interoperability within and between countries, developing internationally shared principles for enabling patient access to health data, based on the principle of informed explicit consent or patient permission and in keeping with countries’ and regional existing legislative frameworks; and facilitating and promoting the use of open standards for international health data to encourage the widest possible adoption of standards and greater interoperability. To achieve this goal, we will work with the Global Digital Health Partnership (GDHP) as they are already advancing IPS efforts


FHIR IPS builds

The FHIR IPS implementation guide in its different versions can be found here:

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