Skip to main content

NHS Interoperability Framework

The Interoperability Toolkit (ITK) is a set of national standards, frameworks and implementation guides to support interoperability within local organisations and across local health communities. The ITK is not a piece of software.

The ITK aims to reduce this complexity and therefore expenditure by introducing a unified specification for system interoperability within the English NHS. By publishing a series of common specifications and then policing the deployment of those specifications through the ITK accreditation scheme, the ITK will bring a level of standardisation to the market.

This source of reference is aimed at developers and organisations involved the development and deployment of ITK based solutions and aims to provide an invaluable point of reference  when understanding the ITK specifications by providing the understanding by example.

The ITK API provides a Java abstraction to the ITK transport and distribution mechanics. As such it aims to simplify the task of exchanging ITK based messages between applications whilst maintaining all of the benefits that the ITK “on the wire” specifications bring.

In addition to the the API the project also provides a reference implementation and set of examples scenarios that show how the API can be realised and used in real world uses.

Get started

1 Scenarios

To provide some context for how the ITK APIs can be used we run through a number of common real world scenarios (based on our conversations with NHS trusts). These range from the technically simple synchronous query/response pattern to the more complex routed and acknowledged ITK messaging pattern.

2 Try it

See the downloads and data page and the installation guide for further details.

Download the ITK Testbench.

3 Reference

If you want to dig deeper there are a number of reference materials including the API Javadoc, reference implementation source code and a cross-mapping between the requirements and the reference implementation code.

4 Discuss

Join our community, discuss your interoperability projects, share code.

Latest implementation notes

internal

ITK project modules

This project has declared 3 modules; ITK API, TK Java Reference Implementation and ITK Samples Project.

internal

Developer resources

NHS Digital creates a wide range of resources for developers, and participates in a number of other initiatives.