Standards Development Organizations Cooperate on the International Patient Summary

Draft European standard 17269 ‘The Patient Summary for Unplanned, Cross-border Care’ approved

The European Standard for The Patient Summary for Unplanned, Cross-border Care has been approved by the members of CEN Technical Committee 251 Health Informatics. This is a major accomplishment for both European and global collaboration.

The standard takes the European Guidelines on cross-border care, as adopted by the European eHealth Network, as a starting point. These guidelines emerged from the epSOS large scale pilot and forms the basis for the eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure in Europe that is expected to come into operation from the end of 2018 onward. In order to facilitate the adoption of a common format for the Patient Summary across Member States, the European Commission enabled CEN to create this standard and its companion implementation guidance, by means of the CEN International Patient Summary project.

This work has been carried out by a core team under the leadership of CEN, HL7 Europe and IHE Europe. One task of the core team was to contribute to global standards. The Patient Summary Standards Set from the Joint Initiative Council on Global Health Informatics Standardization and the HL7 International Patient Summary project were their main venues for collaboration.

The technical specifications for implementation of the Patient Summary provide guidance on how to make it work in real life, with a focus on the HL7 International Patient Summary standard in both HL7 CDA and HL7 FHIR formats. The HL7 CDA IPS Implementation Guide has been recently published; and the HL7 FHIR IPS guide has passed the ballot and will be likely published begin of next year. This will enable the use of the Patient Summary not only in Cross-border Care, but also in national and local exchanges.

IHE International will look toward updating their Patient Care Coordination profiles to include these new standards, which will mean that they can also be tested by individual EHR vendors at the IHE Connectathons around the world. The countries participating in the European eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure are already going through a similar testing process supported by IHE Europe. In the frame of the Trillium II project, the HL7 FHIR IPS implementation guide has been tested in the HL7 FHIR Connectathon in Baltimore and there plans to revisit tests in the IHE Europe Connectathon 2019.

The project team is currently reaching out to different groups around Europe and the world to familiarize them with this important work and make sure it can and will play its intended role to achieve better and safer care for all. To this end, the role of CEN and HL7 affiliate members representing national competent authorities, the ICT sector, service providers, regional and local authorities and civil society, is critical to the wide adoption of the IPS.

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