InterSystems makes integration tools free to NHS customers

Healthcare IT firm InterSystems has made its Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR) systems integration tools free to customers from the UK’s National Health Service.

The company has said it will make its FHIR tools available to the NHS, allowing customers free access to this international standard for exchanging information between systems.

Developed by HL7 International, FHIR is being used alongside other standards in a number of national projects to allow structured information between IT systems.

These standards are aimed at creating the “joined-up” healthcare based around improved IT systems that the NHS has long sought.

NHS organisations already using Intersystems’ Health Connect informatics system will be able to use FHIR profiles as they become available at no extra cost.

The move will potentially provide support for the Transfer of Care Initiative, promoting use of standards to send discharge letters and outpatient clinical letters from hospitals to GPs.

It will also provide support for GP Connect, supporting the exchange of GP clinical information with other systems.

Components could support other areas such as child health and e-referrals and Care Connect, a suite of tools to help build software for the NHS.

Given that the chosen transport mechanism from NHSD for FHIR message exchange is Message Exchange for Social Care and Health (MESH), an accredited MESH adapter is also freely available, which can be used as a standalone component to support trusts for other MESH messaging needs.

InterSystems is a founder member and now a co-chair representative of INTEROPen collaborative of suppliers, standards bodies and health organisations that has supported the creation, adoption and implementation of standards in healthcare.

Jon Payne, manager of sales engineering at InterSystems, said: “Interoperability using the HL7 FHIR standard is the cornerstone around which the NHS will build the joined-up IT systems that it needs for integrated health and care.”

“InterSystems wholly supports these developments, which will make it quick and easy for them to benefit from the work we have done with others to get data flowing in support of patient care.”

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