Three key problems need to be solved for government e-health programmes:
If these requirements can be met, the quality of preventative medicine, medical research, and medication management, to name a few, should significantly increase. Similarly the efficiency of data collection (capture once, share many times) should reduce the costs and adverse events in the system. The key to solving these problems is 'standardisation', but not just any standardisation. Firstly, not only does the data representation have to be standardised so as to be shared, its semantics - i.e. clinical structure and meaning - have to be standardised. A standard approach to querying is also needed.
openEHR supports such an information infrastructure, because it is designed to represent semantic models of content, from the GUI through to the database. It is an integrated framework rather than a set of disparate official standards which themselves need to be integrated. It supports the definition of clinical content via archetypes - in fact, the archetype formalism is now a CEN standard (EN13606-2), and will be an ISO standard by end 2008. Via the use of openEHR Templates, shareable data sets can be defined across any jurisdiction. These features provide a basis for defining the shared clinical, demographic and administrative semantics across jurisdictions up to and including the national level.
Strategically, openEHR offers 3 key features for national e-health programmes:
The openEHR platform is designed to provide a coherent basis for using and integrating de jure and industry standards, including IHTSDO SNOMED CT, WHO ICD and many other terminologies, IHE services, HL7 message, document and service definitions, CEN TC251 and ISO TC 215 health standards, health standards from OMG HDTF, and many others.
You can become openEHR Partner through the Organisational membership, or members of your team can become part of openEHR as the Individual members. Find out more about membership.
The clinical modelling is already in use at the UK NHS, where some 220 archetypes and 45 templates have been developed in 2007/2008 (NHS archetypes; NHS templates), and is under review by many other government e-health programmes, including in Australia, Denmark, Brazil and various Eastern European countries. In 2008, the Danish and Swedish governments decided to use openEHR for clinical modelling.
For list of countries which are using openEHR technology see who is using openEHR.