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Interoperability Toolkit (ITK) Release 2.2

Latest release (May 2016)

The Interoperability Toolkit (ITK) aims to standardise interoperability within both Health and Social Care.

The ITK is a set of common specifications, frameworks and implementation guides to support interoperability within local organisations and across local health and social care communities.

   Enhancing Interoperability
Supporting NIB Work-Stream 8 (Interoperability)
  Customer Feedback
Driving improvements to aid adoption and implementation
  Decoupling Layers
Implementation focused, loosely coupled, less prescriptive behaviour
   Error Vocabulary
Creates a standard ITK Error Vocabulary
   Business Domains
ITK2.2 Domains Supported Health and Social Care Integration
   ITK Conformance
NHS Digital Support and Conformance for ITK2.2

This guide would explain the differences between ITK2.2 and the previous version.

Access the Specifications (the building blocks)

Part 1: Architecture and Core – Plumbing systems together

ITK Architecture
Connecting systems together, creating the transport layer, creating the Distribution Envelope.
    ITK Core
Schema for the Distribution Envelope, describes the ITK acknowledgement framework: Has a message arrived? Is the business content acceptable?

Please Note: The architecture specifications refer to DTS transport. It should be noted that DTS is being replaced during 2016 with a like-for-like service called Messaging Exchange for Social Care and Health (MESH). The requirements for DTS/MESH remain unchanged.

Part 2: Domain Message Specifications – messages over the plumbing

Each specific domain contains a technical specification which describes how the message is constructed (schema), the interaction flow of the message between two parties, configurable options within the distribution envelope which relate to the interaction, and also links to any associated specifications need for the implementation. The following DMS have been updated to reflect ITK2.2.

Part 3: HL7 CDA Sender and Receiver Requirements – common functional behaviour

The ITK domain message specifications contain many CDA profiles for specific use cases, for example ‘Transfer of Care: eDischarge’. To ensure common behaviours in both sending and receiving systems, a specification has been included within ITK2.2. This document covers the key requirements of ensure consist system behaviour, including a common error vocabulary, and a clear definition of CDA levels (1,2a, 2b, and 3). It should be noted that ITK conformance will state which CDA level an accredited sending system supports.

Part 4: Testing and Accrediting an Implementation

The NHS Digital ITK Conformance team offers support to all implementers of the specifications, through the provisioning of test tooling which simulates endpoints, and validates messages. As part of the offering, implementers can become ITK conformant to have their products listed on the ITK Conformance Catalogue