This publication presents our roadmap for driving the shift to a fully interoperable digital health ecosystem
Digital health can transform the outcomes and experience of consumers if information is shared seamlessly. When digital products, services and information systems work together in this way, we call it being interoperable.
Interoperability is a key enabler of the digital health ecosystem we are building. Interoperability will ensure that health information can be accessed by consumers, health professionals, carers and whānau anywhere, anytime and anyhow.
Our interoperability roadmap is about accelerating the shift to a fully interoperable digital health ecosystem. In the document, we outline the need for change and set out practical steps over the next two years on our collective journey.
The roadmap has four interwoven themes:
- connecting and identifying
- using the same languages
- unblocking access to data
- enabling joined-up services.
Under each of these headings, we describe the current situation, what we’ll look to shift to, how we’ll do this, and what great looks like.
Tracking our progress
We are tracking progress against the interoperability roadmap and posted our first report in July 2021 – see attached. The report covers each item on the two-year plan to note the work completed and the work still to come.
While some milestones are taking longer to achieve, there is a good progress overall. Highlights include the following:
- New application programming interfaces (APIs) for the National Health Index (NHI) and Health Provider Index (HPI) have reached user acceptance testing. The new APIs implement the web friendly HL7® FHIR® standard for data exchange.
- Scheduled releases of the SNOMED New Zealand Edition and New Zealand Pathology Observations Code Sets (NZPOCS) were delivered in October 2020 and April 2021.
- Our SNOMED CT affiliates now have real-time access to the SNOMED NZ Edition via a FHIR API: https://snomednz.digital.health.nz/fhir. Integrating health software with the API removes the need to load the six-monthly release files, improves the user experience and contributes to data quality. Users can easily select the terms they need to record relevant clinical information and share it with patients, whānau and other health professionals. The new service is backed by a cloud-hosted instance of the free and open source SNOMED CT terminology server called Snowstorm from SNOMED International. We have provided free developer education in the use of Snowstorm and the FHIR API.
- Building on our existing SNOMED CT authoring platform, we have a project underway to extend the New Zealand Health Terminology Service (NZHTS) to create an operational platform providing API access to all our standard terminologies and code sets
- We have subscribed to the Simplifier.net platform to establish a New Zealand FHIR Registry, where the FHIR design artefacts created by national programmes will be published.
We welcome your participation and feedback. Contact us at [email protected]