Learn about Information Standards
What is an information standard?
An information standard specifies rules for the collection, processing, management and sharing of information to support patient care. These rules may include technical standards, data standards or information governance standards:
There are differing types of information standards. Dependent on the type, different protocols are applied with regard to development, assurance and approval. The types are:
A high level description of information standards (both approved and proposed) that standardise a business view of health and social care in England. This type of standard includes guidance and recommendations to assess and address the issues that arise when considering and selecting suitable operational standards.
An information standard with proven general applicability across health and social care that supports general business needs that cross organisational, geographical, profession and specialty boundaries.
Reference standards will normally be evidenced through the implementation of one or more operational standards; however they can be approved based on International adoption. Changes to a reference standard will require reconciliation in all the operational standards it supports.
An example is the use of the NHS Number as the national patient identifier across all health and social care.
A detailed and precisely defined information standard for implementation and operational use within a specific area of health and social care. It may use reference standards for its foundations.
An example is the use of a patient wristband in secondary care that implements the NHS Number and date of birth reference standards. The bulk of standards are operational standards.
Where can I get further information from?
- You can contact the information standards team at the HSCIC via firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Health and Social Care Act 2012 – Sections 250 and 251.
- 2013/14 NHS Standard Contract.
- A history of information standards is available on the ISB website: Our History — ISB.