The Department of Health and Human Services and the United Kingdom’s National Health Services signed a bilateral agreement Jan. 23 to collaborate in four health IT areas.
The agreement strengthens efforts to collaborate on health IT information and tools to improve the quality and efficiency of health care.
“This is a ground-breaking agreement that will help both of our countries use information and technology more effectively to improve care, safety and give people more control over their health,” Jeremy Hunt, secretary of state for health in U.K., said in a statement.
The agreement allows the U.S. and U.K. to share quality indicators to identify best practices to standardize indicator development.
HHS and NHS will also collaborate on open data. The two departments will share patient data, with the patient’s consent, to assess the quality of preventative interventions and health care delivery. Interoperability standards will be on the list as well to improve the sharing of data between clinics and hospitals.
Both organizations will work to optimize the digital health records system and identify barriers to innovation in the health IT market.
“While we have very different health care delivery systems and payment models, we both face similar challenges posed by aging populations, increased levels of co-morbid chronic disease and escalating complexity of care delivery and costs,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a statement. “By working together, we can more effectively take on these challenges.”