The Interoperability Toolkit
The Interoperability Toolkit (ITK) is a set of common specifications, frameworks and implementation guides that support interoperability.
In some areas, there's a good level of similarity in business process, data requirements and technical alignment. In others, there are competing and, in some cases, incompatible solutions.
The ITK attempts to solve these problems by providing a number of specifications and technologies which are consistent and applicable across a wide range of domains and localities. It's not a piece of software or a downloadable product.
Benefits of the ITK
The ITK aims to:
- reduce NHS expenditure on local system integration projects by standardising technology and interoperability specifications
- reduce overlap or expenditure from vendors for similar integration projects across NHS organisations by adopting common standards
- reduce delivery times by simplifying integration
- open the market to new entrants, niche suppliers and local teams by defining the standard to develop against upfront
- allow benefits from interoperability to be replicated and scaled up
The ITK uses open international standards and is aligned with HL7 and 'Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise' (IHE).
An ITK conformance means a system supplier has proven that a product has been developed to and tested against ITK specifications.