News Pulse IHE Europe: International Patient Summary standard close to final

IHE-Europe is proud to be playing an active role in the International Patient Summary (IPS) project that is being championed by the CEN TC251 project team to deliver both a future European standard (EN17269) and a technical specification that will offer specific guidance for IPS implementation within Europe.

Karima Bourquard, IHE EU-AFFAIRS Director - who is a key player on the project team, said, “The IPS is an agreed electronic health record extract containing essential information about a patient’s clinical history/state of health with specific relevance focussed on the ‘use case of cross-border unscheduled care’”.
The free movement of citizens, all of whom are potential patients, existing patients and clinicians is inextricably part of the European Union mantra, so the delivery of healthcare can no longer be restricted to or by national boundaries; international healthcare co-operation is not only needed it is both required and expected.
Many healthcare providers, and most countries, have their own national equivalent of a Patient Summary, all will differ in content and scope, each applies different rules about what is usable and useful data to include. An agreement on what is core is now expected for developing cross border exchanges, bearing in mind that any international solution should readily support the local/national requirement.
Furthermore European Union and US agreements mean initiatives have enhanced value and credibility if they are broadened to include partner nations engaging and participating in complementary projects, like Trillium Bridge and Trillium II.

The actual IPS dataset is a minimal and non-exhaustive patient summary dataset, speciality-agnostic, condition-independent, but crucially usable by clinicians for cross-border unscheduled patient care.
Karima continued, “Currently the IPS standard is under review with an eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure (eHDSI) expert team to produce a gap analysis against the European Patient Summary specification used for cross border exchange”.
Fruitful collaboration between CEN and HL7 has also spawned two implementation guides on IPS for CDA and FHIR standards respectively. The resultant Standard for Trial Use from the first guide defines a set of CDA templates that build on pre-existing CDA templates – Continuity of Care Document - and the IHE Patient Care Coordination Committee developing a new IHE Profile. This with the objective of increasing the adoption of IPS worldwide, benefiting from IHE’s Profile, interoperability testing and using appropriate national extensions.

Collaboration between Standards Development Organisations, with expertise coming from organisations including IHE, HL7, CEN, ISO and SNOMED is crucial to the success of the IPS project, which is planned to be a single compatible solution for adoption.

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