Since 2007, the Joint Initiative Council (JIC) has been committed to transforming the global healthcare system into one that is digital. The goal is precise, targeting the real-time exchange of information based on full interoperability enabled by global standards.

With growing implementation and use globally, the JIC has been actively engaged in discussion regarding the establishment of global stewardship for the International Patient Summary (IPS) to evolve the development, maintenance and ongoing management of the IPS Suite of standards.

As outlined in the JIC’s recently-released discussion paper, The Future of IPS as a Global Public Good, the concept of stewardship proposes critical deployment elements, such as extending the scope of the IPS to other use cases and the decision-making models needed to include other types of standards and specifications to meet implementer and industry requirements as deemed necessary. This need is driven by the growing use of the IPS across and within nations, and by the increase in the number and diversity of stakeholders adopting, implementing and developing the IPS.

The goals of such stewardship are to respond to the growing and evolving needs of the IPS by seeking feedback from the broader patient, professional, and vendor communities; foster effective coordination of the parties involved; and ensure that the IPS Suite can continue to serve as a global tool to effectively enable interoperability. Involving others will make the IPS more responsive, reliable and accountable.

As the discussion paper envisions, an IPS stewardship group will provide strategic oversight of processes that allow for bottom-up standards innovation and top-down standards alignment and propagation. At the same time, involved Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) will retain exclusive accountability for the standards and specifications that they have developed and which they maintain as part of the IPS Suite.

The discussion paper recommends the IPS stewardship group serve as a community of practice whose role includes strategically formulating assignments/expectations for participating organizations to complete. It also proposes the creation and ongoing maintenance of an IPS Roadmap, in which new requirements, scope and change requests pertaining to the IPS Suite are prioritized and timelines for the incorporation of these changes in the standards and specifications that are affected by them are defined.

The JIC encourages stakeholders to review the discussion paper and welcomes your insights and feedback here. In addition to formally submitted written comments, the JIC also plans to convene subsequent virtual and/or in person sessions to discuss the future global stewardship of the IPS.

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Previous 2021 white paper.

The set of standards “International Patient Summary” has gained in accessibility through its dedicated website.

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