Interoperability is a strategic priority of Australia’s National Digital Health Strategy
The Connecting Australian Healthcare - National Healthcare Interoperability Plan outlines the current state of interoperability in Australia’s healthcare system, identifies priority actions to foster a more connected healthcare system, and sets the direction for a nationally coordinated future state that leverages current activities and creates opportunities for future innovation.
The health technology sector is key to ensuring other healthcare stakeholders have access to the systems, services and information needed to safely deliver improved health outcomes. To seamlessly exchange or access health information and ensure consistent understanding, it is essential to have agreed digital health standards, specifications and terminology that are technology agnostic.
Interoperability relies on unambiguous standards that are implemented consistently. Using interoperability standards allows shared meaning of health information for both healthcare providers and individuals. It also enables health information to be discovered and exchanged across the healthcare system. A key challenge is to maintain relevance and compatibility as new standards are created and existing ones evolve.
Person-centred and multidisciplinary models of care are supported by access to robust and reliable health information. Interoperability across the health system improves coordination and continuity of care to improve the safety and quality of care decisions.
Interoperability standards ensure health data is safely stored, transferred, and meaningfully interpreted by providers and individuals regardless of which industry software is used. By joining people together through a connected network of systems, consumers are empowered through greater choice, equitable access to services and the ability to partner in their own lifelong healthcare journey.
Interoperability also provides organisational and public health benefits through improved access to data that informs business decisions and public health policy. As interoperability and data quality matures, the health technology sector will be increasingly supported by evidence to create solutions that meet the needs of modern clinical workflows and service delivery.
Find out more about digital health standards