The Standards Assessment and Selection framework provides project teams implementing digital health solutions with guidance in selecting the appropriate interoperability standards for the task at hand. Starting with a high level primer on the role of standards within Canada’s Digital Health Solutions, the framework lists a reference process when planning projects and highlights specific selection criteria that can be directly applied to evaluating available standards. While a comprehensive standards selection process is fairly involved (read more about the recommended Process), it essentially consists of four steps:

    Step 1

    Identify and capture the need as Clinical Requirements and Business Requirements.

    Step 2

    Identify potential solutions. (See Standards and Standards Selection Guide Registry)

    Step 3

    Evaluate and choose an appropriate solution using Assessment Criteria results in the template.

    Step 4

    Make the Standard selection decision and publish results as a Guide.


    A successful Standards Selection process relies on the existence of well document project and clinical requirements.

    The role of Standards in Digital Health Solutions

    Canada’s Digital Health Blueprint provides a useful framework to help guide the selection, development and reuse of digital health solutions within Canada’s evolving healthcare system. The approach supports incremental transformation and optimization of information and technology supported health care service delivery by encouraging the definition and reuse of packages, or building blocks, of capabilities that may, in turn, be assembled and deployed within different digital health solutions.  The goal is to encourage reuse of existing building blocks as a means to enable solution compatibility, rapid project delivery and speed to value while enabling innovation through the definition of new building blocks and patterns.

    Foundational building blocks include Clinical Requirements, Interoperability Specifications, Terminology Subsets and Interoperability Standards – which allow independently developed systems to interoperate with one another to achieve desired clinical functionality.  As with other building blocks, reuse of existing Interoperability Specifications and Terminology Subsets is encouraged to improve compatibility between solutions and speed to value.

    To learn more about the Digital Health Blueprint and existing Interoperability Standards in use in Canada visit InfoCentral.