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Answering the call for an open approach to healthcare data

The path to digital maturity must be open. NHS England’s national director of operations and information, Matthew Swindells, reinforced the need for an open approach in a recent keynote address. I couldn’t agree more.

His remarks reflect a tighter focus on open access to data, interoperability and health information exchange amongst health and social care organisations. These capabilities are the ones that help define the internationally recognised NHS providers delivering exceptional care through world-class technology, known as Global Digital Exemplars.

The movement is gaining momentum in the UK. For example, NHS Digital has mandated the use of Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), an international standard for health data exchange, by 2018.

Open is our ethos at Allscripts

When I joined Allscripts, it was because I truly believe we have some of the best solutions on the market, and I believe in the strategy of the company. We are committed to being open.

In fact, Allscripts was the first in the healthcare industry with an open platform – more than a decade ago – because it is imperative to be open to achieve true interoperability.

While a lot of companies talk about being open, Allscripts can prove it. Consider: 

  • The Allscripts developer network has enabled the exchange of data nearly 3 billion times in just four years. This rate is exponentially increasing. Just this August, the open Allscripts ecosystem exchanged more than 100 million data shares within a single month.
  • More than 1,000 third-party developers work with Allscripts, in addition to more than 170 developer partners. Opening up our Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to inventors outside of the company helps speed innovation.
  • Allscripts is implementing FHIR for our solutions. We have a FHIR API, which is platform neutral, to return FHIR data from all of our electronic patient records (EPRs). We remain committed to providing FHIR interfaces to make it easier for developers and clients to access data in Allscripts systems.

What will healthcare look like in the future? I think we all hope for a more connected, interoperable system, where health and social care are fully blended across the continuum of care. Being open is the necessary foundation.

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