The paper by ICT for Health "focuses on the overriding theme of comprehensive eHealth interoperability: eHealth solutions must be interoperable to facilitate and foster the collaboration of health professionals and health care organisations, and the various stakeholders must cooperate and involve themselves to resolve legal, organisational and policy barriers. Member States have realised that implementing eHealth interoperability is a long-term process requiring a sustained commitment with respect to political involvement and resources. Achieving interoperability is seen as a goal that can be achieved only gradually – application by application – and is often envisioned in a ten-year, if not longer, framework."
"The paper recommends the necessary steps to reach these goals for the benefit of Europe, its citizens and its societies, thereby supporting the long-term objectives of the Lisbon Strategy. These cover the domains of political, social, and regulatory issues; appropriate processes and structures to achieve eHealth interoperability; technical standardisation; semantic interoperability; and certification and authentication processes. The result of this process will be a set of guidelines on eHealth interoperability, as well as an agreed process to implement these guidelines in the various Member States and at the Union level."
Special attention should be paid to pages 22-23 of the report which discuss semantic interoperability and the need for standards. With HL7’s leading role as an international standard for healthcare IT and especially the RIM and integration with SnCT as the most advanced and best-tried way of delivering what this document is describing.
Last modified 08/11/07