HL7 delivers healthcare interoperability standards

Invitation for the Inaugural NHS ITK Technical Forum

05 January 2011

ITK Technical Forum Invitation

The ITK Technical Forum is aimed at all suppliers of IT systems to the NHS, NHS ICT Directors and their team representatives, standards development organisations and other professional organisations. As a member of one of these bodies, you are invited to join the inaugural technical forum on the 26th January in Birmingham and to help establish a strong working community of industry professionals. This is your opportunity to help direct the adoption of consistent standards and consistent methods of connectivity across the NHS and ensure that your organisation is represented.
They have arranged with the venue to allow a limited number of free passes for the museum for those who would like to view the exhibits before the forum start. Please could you confirm if you would like to gain access to the museum. The National Motorcycle Museum is conveniently located for rail and road and detailed directions can be found here.

Keynote Speaker(s)
The meeting will be addressed by Christine Connelly (Director-General of Informatics and Chief Information Officer) and/or Paul Jones (Chief Technology Officer) who will discuss the need for adoption of a coordinated approach to interoperability within the NHS.

Date: Wednesday 26th January 2011 12.00 PM - 16.30 PM

Location: National Motorcycle Museum, Coventry Road, Bickenhill
Solihull, West Midlands B92 0EJ

Please could you confirm your attendance by the 21st January to the ITK team at toolkit.enquiries@nhs.net 

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The issue
The NHS is tasked with saving 20bn whilst attempting to protect front line services. Reducing the costs of integration projects is just one way of achieving part of these savings. The NHS reforms as detailed in the 'Liberating the NHS' white paper establish a requirement for patients to be treated by 'any willing provider' and for data to be shared amongst organisations. The Connect-All challenge requires a consistent approach to technical and data standards. In addition to the technical challenge the focus on outcomes rather than numbers brings a slightly different perspective to local integration.
What the ITK offers
The Interoperability Toolkit (ITK) is an NHS led initiative that provides a series of standards for local integration. This includes providing system vendors with a target specification to build to, and providing a lightweight but rigorous conformance process which requires proof of compliance. The ITK also provides a governance framework for local NHS organisations to enact in using these standards. The ITK team will publish a catalogue of compliant systems which have a proven interface to ITK standards for use by procurement teams within the NHS.
It is the NHS that will determine the key areas of focus and areas where interoperability standards are needed. This agenda will be driven by the NHS itself through a new national ITK User Forum and corresponding NHS ITK Management Group.

NHS ITK User Forum and Management Group
The 'NHS ITK User Forum' met for the first time in November, the 'NHS ITK Management Group' in December. There was a good discussion on prioritisation with consensus that addressing the generic problem of document sharing between systems was at the top of the list and should be a priority issue.



Last modified 05/01/11