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The digital advantage

IET factfile: The digital adavantage

Realising the benefits of interoperability for health and social care in England.

This report sets out our position on the digital transformation of the National Health Service (NHS) and social care across England. While the NHS has faced and met the greatest challenge of its 73-year history in the Covid-19 pandemic, preparatory work has continued towards the long-term goal of ensuring widespread interoperability across the sector.

For as long as healthcare providers have used multiple IT systems, the NHS has struggled with interoperability. The problem grows exponentially as the number of systems supporting administrative and clinical processes within a healthcare provider increases and it gets even bigger when these providers are required to share information.

This report aims to define and summarise the difficulties inherent in achieving interoperability and analyse accomplishments to date through a series of case studies. The next set of interoperability challenges that need to be overcome and the steps that should be taken to get there - backed up by evidence of what works - are also identified. This report has been written for all stakeholders across academia, industry, the health service and government, who are interested in achieving the benefits of healthcare interoperability.