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NHS Interoperability Framework

Brendan McEnroe | 28 Feb 2013

itkThe Interoperability Toolkit (ITK) is a set of national standards, frameworks and implementation guides to support interoperability within local organisations and across local health communities.
The ITK is not a piece of software.
The ITK is targeted at reducing this complexity and therefore expenditure by introducing a unified specification for system interoperability within the English NHS.
By publishing a series of common specifications and then by policing the deployment of those specifications through the ITK accreditation scheme, the ITK will bring a level of standardisation to the market.

This source of reference is aimed at developers and organisations involved the development and deployment of ITK based solutions and aims to provide an invaluable point of reference  when understanding the ITK specifications by providing the understanding by example.

The ITK API provides a Java abstraction to the ITK transport and distribution mechanics. As such it aims to simplify the task of exchanging ITK based messages between applications whilst maintaining all of the benefits that the ITK “on the wire” specifications bring.

In addition to the the API the project also provides a reference implementation and set of examples scenarios that show how the API can be realised and used in real world uses.

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1 Scenarios

To provide some context for how the APIs can be used we run through a number of common real world scenarios (based on our conversations with NHS trusts). These range from the technically simple synchronous query/response pattern to the more complex routed and acknowledged ITK messaging pattern.

2 Try it!

Aside from the API and reference implementation we have also provided a number of examples showing the scenarios in action.  See downloads and the installation guide for further details. Test bench the examples.

3 Reference

If you want to dig deeper there are a number of reference materials including the API Javadoc, reference implementation source code and a cross-mapping between the requirements and the reference implementation code.

4 Discuss

Join our community, discuss your interoperability projects, share code.

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