The scientific school

Interoperability implies an exchange and mutual interpretation of information by two or more systems. In Health IT, interoperability has a direct effect on the efficiency, effectiveness and overall quality of healthcare service being provided. In fact, information exchange through proper interoperability is the foundation upon which individual specialized healthcare units can be assembled into a complex and comprehensive healthcare system with intra-institutional and inter-institutional interaction and coordination. Also, in clinical and biomedical research, data integration is essential as a basis for guiding differential outcome analysis. In this school participants will have the opportunity to gather a high-level overview of interoperability and to acquire practical and technical skills about: the available standards and guidelines, the main institutions promoting integration, the vendor’s perspective.

Who should attend

The School is targeted at graduate students and early-stage researchers and technologists in healthcare informatics. Participants should have: some basic domain background knowledge and interest in clinical informatics standards and guidelines; some basic scripting experience and knowledge about XML, SQL/JDBC (required); some basic knowledge about Javascript and Linux OS (helpful but not strictly required).


Alessandro Sulis - CRS4
Bernd Blobel - HL7 Germany
Cecilia Mascia - CRS4
Claudio Saccavini - Consorzio Arsenàl, IHE
Danilo Pani - University of Cagliari
Francois Macary - PHAST, IHE
Giorgio Cangioli - HL7 Italy
Gregorio Mercurio - Federsanità ANCI, HL7 Italy
Mauro Giacomini - University of Genoa, HL7 Italy
Mauro Zanardini - Consorzio Arsenàl, IHE
Roberta Gazzarata - Healthropy, HL7 HL7 Italy
Vittorio Meloni - CRS4

Satellite Event

On Monday, September 17th in the morning there will be a public satellite event, dedicated to discuss Interoperability in Healthcare at national and regional levels in Italy. The entire event will be in Italian. The event is at the moment under definition, all the details will be added soon!!


The main purpose of the school is to make students conscious about the importance of healthcare interoperability, in terms of clinical workflows and patient care quality, while also providing the opportunity to acquire practical and technical skills in Healthcare Information Systems integration. In particular, this Scientific School will focus on: the meaning of healthcare interoperability and its importance for clinical workflows and patient care; the main standards and guidelines for interoperability (IHE, HL7 v2, HL7 v3, HL7 CDA, HL7 FHIR,…) at different levels: communication/messaging, documental, semantic, overall clinical processes; how to adopt and assemble standards into real clinical workflows; tools and techniques to build an interoperable and guidelines-compliant module for a specific healthcare domain; how to test the interoperability and compliance of a clinical system, with an overview of available testing platforms and tools. Lectures and tutorials will provide skills that are essential to solve a series of healthcare interoperability problems that arise in the context of a real clinical domain. Students will be asked to implement a trivial and interoperable clinical module and to test its interoperability, using the same platforms and tools adopted by the main healthcare domain vendors. After the school, participants will have a good knowledge of clinical interoperability standards, best-practices and tools from both the points of view of guideline developers and the implementers.


The course is scheduled to begin on the afternoon of Monday Sept. 17th; Tue-Fri will be full course days; the course will finish on Friday afternoon. The course is organized in a way to alternate lectures and practical sessions. Both lectures and practical sessions will be held in English. The lectures (on Monday and Friday afternoon and on Tue-Thu mornings) are public and deal about general aspects of interoperability, giving an overview about main standards, guidelines and problems. The practical sessions (on Tue-Thu afternoons and on Friday morning) will give participants the opportunity to face clinical interoperability issues in practice, by learning how to apply the knowledge acquired during the lectures to develop an interoperable clinical application module and testing it in a “mini-connectathon” event scheduled for Friday morning. Access to the practical sessions is reserved to official School participants. Participants will have to bring their own laptops, though upon request we can loan computers for the sessions. The School Team will support participants to prepare the computers for the practical activities. Students will have ample time to meet and speak with lecturers, especially at the coffee breaks, lunches and the social event.