With an eye on improving healthcare quality and efficiency, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the U.K.'s National Health Service will share health IT information and tools with one another after signing an agreement Thursday at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and her British counterpart Jeremy Hunt signed the memorandum of understanding, the latter of whom was broadcast via a live feed from the U.K. The agreement focuses on four key areas, according to an HHS announcement, including:
- Sharing quality indicators: The collaboration now is identifying alignments across existing British and American repositories to identify best practices in the design and use of quality indicators. Future work will include mutually leveraging technical experts and data, and working on a standardized approach to quality indicator development.
- Liberating data and putting it to work: HHS and NHS will discuss and find areas of collaboration around open data and safe and secure data transparency of secondary stored data, as well as interoperability standards for improvement of data sharing and clinical care with a focus on patients accessing and sharing data.
- Adopting digital health record systems: Both organizations will work to maximize successful adoption of digital records across the health care spectrum and support the development of a robust health IT workforce.
- Priming the health IT market: Both organizations will work to support the Health IT Marketplace by identifying barriers to innovation, sharing individual certification approaches for patients and clinician-facing applications, and strategies to support small and medium enterprises/start-ups