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FHIR DevDays - UK GP System APIs

Publication date: Sep 16, 2015

The English GPSoC project defines FHIR APIs for GP systems

During the FHIR Developer Days (November 18-20, Amsterdam) we'll have a Community Track allowing FHIR implementers to share their experiences and best practices. Recently I learned of a project in England which has the aim to open up the 'GP system data siloes' enabling app vendors to extend the functionality of GP systems. FHIR is a natural fit for such a requirement.

The project is known as GPSoC (GP Systems of Choice), which provides a contractual framework to supply IT systems/services to GP practices and associated organisations in England. Essentially it subsidises the purchase of GP systems (which have an Open API) as well as subsidiary add-on modules based on the API. This process aims to open access and facilitate integration for smaller suppliers of subsidiary modules, rather than each one needing to work independently in commercial arrangements with the GP system suppliers. The GPSoC framework will be effective until december 2016 at least.

Subsidiary Modules, such as specialist applications and services for document management, appointments, mobile clinical applications, telehealth or clinical decision making tools may be provided by a subsidiary supplier listed on the GPSoC framework, or by a third party supplier outside of the framework. The Open API has to meet certain functional/technical requirements, but there is no detailed implementable specification for it.

Interestingly there are currently three parties working on defining an implementable FHIR based specification:

  1. Black Pear (an apps vendor) have produced working FHIR interfaces (a FHIR frontend of their existing proprietary APIs) to the 3 main UK GP systems - these are being used in production.
  2. HSCIC (part of NHS England) have created the GPSoC IM2 specification.
  3. Endeavorhealth.com (a charitable project to create open-source tools for GP system interoperability) have created a Common Interface Module (CIM specification) - you'll have to register on their website to get hold of the detailed specifications.
There is some joint work between these teams. One of the speakers during the Developer Days will be Dunmail Hodkinson, who works for Black Pear and has been involved in the other FHIR-based interface projects as well. Dunmail will share his experiences during a session on Wednesday, please join us should you wish to hear more about GPSoC and the GP system FHIR interfaces.


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