Orion Health secures new message service accreditation

IT vendor is one of first to secure NHS Digital accreditation for Message Exchange for Social Care and Health API

Orion Health has become one of the first suppliers to be able to use a new NHS messaging service to exchange information between health and care systems.

The company has secured Message Exchange for Social Care and Health (MESH) Application Programme Interface (API) accreditation from NHS Digital.

MESH is now the main message exchange service for health and social care. It has replaced the Data Transfer Service (DTS), which was introduced more than a decade ago to enable health and care systems to exchange information with each other using modern web standards.

MESH is already being used by most GP practices to receive test results and clinical correspondence from hospitals.

Users access these messages through a MESH client or, more commonly, through systems that have been integrated with MESH using an API.

Orion Health’s accreditation means that NHS organisations that use its Rhapsody Integration Engine can exchange information with other organisations using MESH.

Three hospitals in Liverpool and a major London hospital have already bought the new functionality to send pathology results and discharge summaries to GPs.

MESH is strategically important for the NHS in England. It gives organisations a common way to securely communicate with each other electronically across many different business processes

Anne O’Hanlon, solution consulting director for Orion Health in EMEA, said: “MESH is strategically important for the NHS in England. It gives organisations a common way to securely communicate with each other electronically across many different business processes. This includes when people change their GP, have a blood test, or are discharged from hospital.

“We integrated Rhapsody to the MESH API according to NHS Digital’s specification. Several rounds of testing were undertaken to demonstrate we could comply with the authentication requirements and handle any errors appropriately.

"We were very pleased to receive accreditation and are now looking forward to working with our NHS customers to make use of this new service.

“This accreditation demonstrates our commitment to the TechUK Interoperability Charter and NHS England’s Open API policy.”

MESH is built on Spine infrastructure and supports some important information flows, including pathology results reporting, GP data extraction and payments, out-of-hours services, clinical correspondence, and Open Exeter’s screening services.

New workflows are being added and NHS Digital is looking at how it could be used for communication with social care.

Rhapsody is Orion Health’s foundation product. It is an integration engine that enables health organisations to acquire and exchange data from the systems that they use and with other organisations.

It does this by accepting messages from health and care systems, processing them, and sending them on to other systems, using widely-understood standards. The NHS Digital accreditation means this now includes MESH.

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