Joined-up healthcare makes information available when and where it is needed to improve safety, efficiency and effectiveness. Politicians may take interoperability between healthcare computer systems for granted, but it is non-trivial. Healthcare integration projects are notoriously under-estimated and come in over-budget and over-time. Joined-up healthcare depends on standards. The two leading standards are the SNOMED CT, which is a clinical terminology (semantics) and HL7 Version 3, which is a specialised healthcare interoperability language (syntax). Both are new, complex and fit for purpose. Tim Benson believes there is an unmet need for a book on Healthcare Integration. Some health informatics textbooks include chapters on HL7 and/or SNOMED, but these are usually quite short and cannot provide even an adequate introduction. There is little of much value on the Internet, or in journals or conference proceedings.