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  • Informatics
  • IHE: Take advantage of an initiative that makes HIT systems work better

    May 01, 2012

    Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE®) brings together users and developers of (health information technology) HIT systems--including those used in medical imaging--to implement standards and improve patient care. 

    IHE publishes implementation guides, called IHE profiles, that define how to use standards (DICOM, HL7, W3C and others) to make systems more interoperable, improve access to  for care providers and patients and enable more effective use of electronic health records. IHE also provides a testing process that lets developers test their systems for compliance with relevant profiles.

    "...would take months in a clinical setting:" Connectathon Developers Test and Fix Systems On the Spot


    Download this video »

    For Users

    Users who are responsible for purchasing, upgrading or implementing HIT systems (including PACS, RIS and modality devices) can:

    • Learn about IHE profiles that define important interoperability features HIT systems should provide.
    • Browse the IHE Product Registry to find products compliant with relevant IHE profiles.
    • Explore the IHE Image Sharing Demonstration at the RSNA annual meeting.
    • Attend the annual connectathon conference (see video) to learn about the role of IHE profiles in enabling efficient use of EHRs and see the IHE testing process in action.
    • Review IHE profiles currently in developmentand submit public comments that provide your feedback as a real-world user.

    "When was the last time you were able to pull 550 engineers to your site to help you integrate your systems?"
    Kevin O'Donnell
    Toshiba America Medical Systems

    For Developers

    Developers of HIT systems can:

    • Investigate IHE profiles to find ones relevant to improving the interoperability of your products
    • Implement IHE profiles in your products and test them at an annual Connectathon, an unsurpassed opportunity to work out bugs and demonstrate interoperability with industry peers. (See video.)
    • Develop IHE integration statements for your products and publish them in the IHE Product Registry to make customers aware of their capabilities
    • Participate in the IHE Image Sharing Demonstration at the RSNA annual meeting to show the radiologic community firsthand that your products are truly interoperable and support advanced capabilities. Learn more here.
    • Learn more about participation in IHE committees working to define new IHE profiles

    Developers whose products comply with IHE standards can publish integration statements, showing their customers that they're working to make EHRs a reality. They also earn special recognition in RSNA's Technical Exhibition Guide and can display the IHE logo on their websites and exhibition signage.

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    "Consider PACS. Years ago there was no standard for imaging files, and it was difficult or impossible to view images on non-compatible systems. Now it's considered the standard across the medical imaging industry. IHE is working to encourage all healthcare data systems to support standards." -- David S. Mendelson, M.D., Image Share principal investigator