The European Union's Member States are committed to sharing their best practices and experiences to create a European eHealth Area, thereby improving access to and quality of healthcare at the same time as stimulating growth in a promising new industrial sector. The European eHealth Action Plan plays a fundamental role in the European Union's i2010 strategy. Work on this initiative involves a collaborative approach among several parts of the Commission services.
In the United Kingdom, moves towards registration and regulation of those involved in Health Informatics have begun with the formation of the UK Council for Health Informatics Professions (UKCHIP)
The NHS in England has also contracted out to several vendors for a National Medical Informatics system that divides the country into five regions and is to be united by a central electronic medical record system nicknamed "the spine". National Programme for IT in the NHS. The project, in 2006, is well behind schedule and its scope and design are being revised in real time.
In 2006, 60% of residents in England and Wales have more or less extensive clinical records and their prescriptions generated on 4000 installations of one system (EMIS) written in 'M' (MUMPS as was). The other 40% predominantly have records stored on assorted SQL or file-based systems.
Scotland has a similar approach to central connection under way which is more advanced than the English one in some ways.
Scotland has the GPASS system whose source code is owned by the State, and controlled and developed by NHS Scotland. It has been provided free to all GPs in Scotland but has developed poorly. Discussion of open sourcing it as a remedy is occurring.
The European Commission's preference, as exemplified in the 5th Framework, is for Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) for healthcare.