A number of definitions for interoperability have been developed internationally. GDHP participants adapted a previous definition of interoperability as stated by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, USA to the following:

The ability of a system or product to transfer meaning of information within and between systems or products without special effort on the part of the user. Interoperability is made possible by the implementation of standards.

The proposed work stream activities within this theme focused upon the evolving challenges of sharing patient data between care providers, organisations, caregivers and patients. Interoperability challenges are partly a technical problem for health systems, clinicians and patients, however they also pose significant risks for patient safety, and detract from high quality coordinated care and the efficient delivery of services.

Draft work stream deliverables include:

  • Identifying and mapping the improvement in healthcare outcomes that interoperable digital health services can achieve and document the problems that interoperability can solve
  • Documenting the current international landscape, standards, policy drivers, legal frameworks and supplier requirements for interoperability to be achieved for health services