The interoperability framework: a modular, continuously evolving foundation

Interopérabilité | 21 Jun 2010
Interoperability is the ability of information systems to exchange and share information that can be used by healthcare professionals.
The interoperability framework for health information systems sets out the technical, IT and security standards that need to be implemented for the exchange or sharing of health data. It responds to two objectives: to encourage the development of services for sharing and exchanging personal health data, and to create or foster the conditions for interoperability between health information systems, while adhering to security and confidentiality requirements.
The approach consists of defining a strategy that guarantees the existence of a sustainable economic and industrial framework. The application of this framework will have marked effects in terms of the structuring of the offering and the development of the solutions applied to e-health. The standardization of the economic layers – content, services and the transport of health information – will enable software companies to concentrate their investments on the added value of information systems for healthcare professionals and institutions alike. This foundation is one of the fundamental elements in the provision of information systems for the coordination of care. 

First national version proves a success with partners

The first public consultation phase took place between June and September 2009. This productive collaboration led to the approval of version 0.1.0 by the main federations representing companies in the IT sector: SYNTEC, FEIMA, LESISS, SNITEM and ASINHPA. Version 0.1.0, published on 2 October, contained three content modules, two service modules and one transport module. 

A gradual development

A new version – 0.1.1 – was published on 25 February 2010. It enhances the service layer with a "shared patient file management" module and the content layer with two new modules: "CDA content models" and "Biology test reports". It also finalizes the "Pages for patients at risk of cardiovascular disease" module, which has been approved by the French national union for training and assessment in cardiovascular medicine (UFCV). The "Biology test reports" module has been submitted for consultation. 
New key elements will enhance this framework during the industry consultation phases, which will lead to the creation of version 1.0.0 of the interoperability framework in the third quarter of 2010. This will benefit regional projects, as it will give them a set of stable, precise specifications which will be applied in concrete form when the first version of the electronic health record (DMP) is produced.