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Interoperability Platform Communicating, exchanging and using information across the health system

The Interoperability Platform provides services that support key, foundational capabilities that are critical in supporting health information exchange. These services can be integrated into applications used by healthcare professionals and consumers.

About the Interoperability Platform

The interoperability platform consists of a number of HL7® FHIR® APIs (RESTful Web Services) and a website that presents simple user interfaces for demonstrating Terminology, Provider Directory, and Conformance Services.

Key benefits:

  • Patients are empowered to monitor their own health and wellness because the Interoperability Platform creates and promotes the use of consumer-friendly terminology.
  • Healthcare providers have more time to focus on patient clinical needs and less on administrative duties.
  • Greater consistency of, and accessibility to, information and data.
  • Enables collaboration between parts of the health system.
  • Aligns with Patient First’s role of providing common, non-commercial, technology services, solutions, and capabilities.

Terminology Services (Terminz)

A Terminology Service API like Terminz enables healthcare applications to use coded clinical concepts without having to become experts in the finer details of underlying, and complex, terminology artefacts such as code systems. The Platform’s website provides a page which demonstrates how applications interact with the service.

Patients First is proud to say that Terminz continues to be a leading reference implementation and one of New Zealand’s many contributions to the development of HL7’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR®) standard. FHIR is a modern, web-based, standards framework that is used by digital healthcare platforms to exchange interoperable data to support improved patient care

Terminz exposes a fully featured, compliance tested, and leading edge, HL7® FHIR® R4 API that provides full access to the NZ Edition of SNOMED CT (including all reference sets, plus Read Code to SCT Maps), LOINC, NZMT/NZULM, ICD-10-AM, NZ Ethnicity and UCUM Code Systems. Although not a ‘commercial’ product, accessed in production EHR environments, Terminz is used by architects and data modellers in the NZ Sector (e.g., in creating localised FHIR profiles) and overseas; it is also the basis for one of NZ’s main contributions to the overall HL7 FHIR Project and its collaboration with SNOMED International.

Provider Directory Services

The Provider Directory Service is an HL7® FHIR® R4 API – essentially a bridging piece of software – that healthcare workers can use to look up data from the HPI Facility and Organisation listings published by the Ministry of Health each month. It was initially developed as a quick exemplar of how the long-awaited HPI Web Services might be implemented using FHIR.

This API facilities a quick, easy and flexible means for applications and users to obtain up-to-date information about service providers. Interactive lookup requests and responses can also be made on the Platform’s website.

Conformance Services

This is another API and its purpose is to provide FHIR Conformance Resources to ensure that FHIR is implemented in a consistent way across New Zealand. It also reduces unnecessary duplication of effort and assists the national and regional health information platform projects that are currently underway. These resources include National Extensions, Value Sets, Profiles and Naming Systems and are being developed in conjunction with the national HL7 Affiliate HL7 New Zealand.