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Industry perspectives

The importance of standards and the interoperability journey

A citizen’s journey across the health and social care system is made up of a multitude of intricate steps and interactions, with a wealth of data to understand and interpret.

Andrea Dantas, Director, European Consulting Practice, Cerner

Tim James, Senior healthcare executive, Cerner


The focus of a citizen’s health has often been about illness versus wellness. Considering this duality is important and becomes all-the-more apparent when there is an integrated multi-disciplinary care team working across a system. Both of us can recall experiences whereby we have seen our peers struggling in the middle of a clinical shift trying to piece together a patient’s story. Documented care about patients is often siloed and focuses on the problem recorded on that day and misses holistic assessments across the health and care system.

Through our roles at Cerner and working with our clients and colleagues across the NHS, we can appreciate the power of an integrated care record; sharing data with the right person at the right time, and supporting clinicians and the healthcare team to deliver better outcomes. 

Innovation in health and care is flourishing but there are still silos of clinical data that exist in a multitude of applications, systems, products and platforms that the healthcare team, citizens and patients must interact with. We live in an interconnected, information-rich age with the ability to share a wealth of clinical data that is not just beneficial, but often essential for all stakeholders. For this interoperability journey to progress positively, standards are a must and should be at the core. We firmly believe that aligning to and supporting PRSB standards are essential steps to aiding the national interoperability journey and this is why Cerner chose this partnership.

We started working with PRSB on small deliverables, such as workshops and supplier events. We were impressed with the truly multi-disciplinary and inclusive approach that placed the patient at the centre. As we continue to develop and enhance our UK workflows and patient journeys, the importance of aligning to PRSB guidance and recommendations was clear. PRSB represents the Royal Colleges, which provides our end users with a forum to provide valuable input into the design of those standards.

Cerner has worked with the NHS for over 25 years and we are hoping this will enable us to contribute positively to the PRSB partnership through sharing implementation experience, end-user feedback and adoption challenges, as well as potential areas of improvements to consider for future industry standards. Cerner is committed to improving patient experience and health outcomes, enhancing the clinician experience and enabling access to care information for all members of the care team.

As with all our products, content and workflow development, we aim to ensure that data is captured as part of the natural clinical workflow, making our products more intuitive and user friendly. We would like to bring the same ethos to the PRSB partnership, working with PRSB and other partners to ensure standards are not seen as obstacles but as enablers in delivering an integrated and connected citizen, patient and end-user experience.