Report from 2014 WHO Forum on eHealth Standardization and Interoperability
The Joint Inter-Ministerial Policy Dialogue on eHealth Standardization and Second WHO Forum on eHealth Standardization and Interoperability was hosted by WHO on 10 and 11 February, 2014 at WHO headquarters in Geneva. Participants of the Forum included representatives from WHO Member States, health data standards development organizations (SDOs), academic and research institutions, implementing partners, the donor community, and subject matter experts concerned with development, adoption and implementation of health data standards at national and sub-national level. IMIA and its members were well-represented at this event; participants included IMIA Past President Antoine Geissbuhler, IMIA CEO Peter Murray, and colleagues from COACH (Don Newsham), AMIA (Chris Chute, Charles Jaffe), IAMI India (Jai Ganesh Udayasankaran), TMIA Thailand (Boonchai Kijsanayotin) [note: participants were not necessarily present as formal representatives of these organisations].
The Final Report of the meeting is available on the WHO website (http://www.who.int/entity/ehealth/events/final_forum_report.pdf?ua=1) In line with the recommendations of the First Forum on eHealth Standardization and Interoperability held in December 2012 (http://www.who.int/ehealth/forum2012/en/) and the recent Resolution WHA66.24, the objectives of the Second Forum were to facilitate a dialogue on the need for policy and governance mechanisms for adoption of health data standards in countries and to draft a policy and governance framework for full adoption of standards at national and sub-national levels. Other materials are also available through the Forum website at http://www.who.int/ehealth/events/standardization_forum_2014/en/
The Forum was hosted by WHO’s Knowledge, Ethics and Research department within the Health Systems and Innovation cluster. It was co-chaired by Najeeb Al Shorbaji and Ramesh Krishnamurthy. The Forum addressed 19 key questions related to six thematic areas:
- Policy approaches in eHealth standardization and interoperability
- Successful policy interventions to overcome barriers in standards adoption
- Governance, stewardship, equity and health systems integration of data standards and interoperability
- Policy and statutory authority components
- Regional perspectives on governance and stewardship of eHealth standardization
- Essentials of a good policy framework for adoption of standards for interoperability of eHealth systems.
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