The Health Innovation Exchange

Second part of the Reference Architecture for Interoperability

The Health Sector Architects Group has today released the second part of our Reference Architecture for Interoperability. This part builds on the foundations of the earlier part, published last year, applying our ideas about repository-centred HIEs, HL7 CDA documents as a common currency of exchange, and having a consistent content model, to emerging new requirements in what we're calling the connected care domain. This is about interoperability in transfer of care solutions, discharge summaries, assessments, shared care and a raft of other applications.

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Comment by Nouran Ragaban on September 15, 2012 at 18:29
Hi Alastair, I notice there's a section on future state migration as this updated reference architecture will require some transition from the current state. Is there cooperation with vendors and organizations in understanding these changes and helping with the transition?
Comment by Alastair Kenworthy on September 15, 2012 at 23:10

Hi Nouran

Yes, we recommended the following under the heading of future state migration:

- Repository-­based information sharing replacing point-­to-­point messaging

- CDA documents replacing HL7 v2 messages as the data format

- HTTP web services replacing HL7 v2 transport

- Repositories becoming CDA-­ and XDS-­enabled

- Point-­of-service systems becoming CDA-­enabled 

These changes will certainly shape the products and solutions that we see coming about in support of integrated care. Some vendors and implementers in the New Zealand market already have solutions with this kind of capability, while it is beginning to appear in others' plans. In any case, most people I speak to recognise the value in taking a lead from international standards, which is one of our key themes. Loose coupling is another, and that one resonates with implementers, too.

Sector Architects' interoperability team always tries to work with the vendor community, with one of our avenues on this occasion being the Health IT Cluster. Then there are our HINZ and HL7 NZ workshops. So, I think this latest piece - which is really just an elaboration of what we've been saying since the National Health IT Plan first came out in 2010 - has been pretty well aired and is well understood.

It will be very interesting to watch developments - and to take an active part in them, too.

Thanks very much for your question.


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