CSIRO and ADHA team up to help connect healthcare system

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

The NCTS currently provides terminology services and tools such as an online browser, a mapping and authoring platform and CSIRO’s national syndication server (Ontoserver), with more than 100 organisations in Australia having accessed to date the Ontoserver through the NCTS sub-licence.

The collaboration will be expected to create a world-leading terminology service and capability for Australia, with the use of innovative digital services, ADHA’s chief executive Amanda Cattermole said.

“It will further strengthen both organisations’ reputations as leaders in clinical terminology,” she said.

The collaboration will aim to enable connectivity across all healthcare settings through driving future interoperability standards and governance discussions across different systems and health care settings to improve connectivity, both parties said.

Under the new partnership, the agency will retain 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.

SNOMED Clinical Terms (SNOMED CT) is a systematically organised computer-processable collection of medical terms providing codes, terms, synonyms and definitions used in clinical documentation and reporting.

“This partnership presents an exciting opportunity to improve the connectedness of Australia’s healthcare system,” AEHRC’s chief executive, 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.”

It is expected work will continue through this partnership to refresh other NCTS tooling and develop terminology content published through the NCTS over the next five years.