Australian Digital Health Agency and CSIRO join forces to help connect Australia’s healthcare system

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connectivity across healthcare settings
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The Australian Digital Health Agency and Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO’s Australian e-Health Research Centre (AEHRC) have launched a new collaboration combining their skills and expertise to deliver a centre of excellence for connectivity across the Australian healthcare system, through the National Clinical Terminology Service (NCTS).

It is envisaged the Agency’s collaboration on the use of innovative digital services through its partnership with AEHRC will create a world-leading terminology service and capability for Australia.

“It will further strengthen both organisations’ reputations as leaders in clinical terminology,” CEO of the Australian Digital Health Agency Amanda Cattermole PSM said.

Under the new partnership, the Agency retains responsibility for governance and the strategic role of end-to-end management, SNOMED CT licensing and the relationship with SNOMED International, while CSIRO will deliver the services and functions required to manage the NCTS, as well as content authoring and tooling.

The intention of the collaboration is to enable connectivity across all healthcare settings. This is achieved through driving future interoperability standards and governance discussions across different systems and healthcare settings to improve connectivity.

“This partnership presents an exciting opportunity to improve the connectedness of Australia’s healthcare system,” AEHRC CEO Dr David Hansen said.

“The services that we provide help enable different parts of the system to ‘talk’ to one another, enabling smoother health service delivery, reduced patient burden and fewer costs.”

The NCTS currently provides terminology services and tools that include an online browser, a mapping and authoring platform and CSIRO’s national syndication server (Ontoserver).

To date, more than 100 organisations in Australia have accessed the Ontoserver licence through the NCTS sublicence—lowering the barrier to the adoption of interoperability standards in our health records.

“We hope this extended partnership will see adoption escalate further,” Dr Hansen said.

Over the next five years, work will continue through this partnership to refresh other NCTS tooling and develop terminology content published through the NCTS. This will further improve health information connectivity for Australian consumers and healthcare providers.

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