IHE has created a set of information resources and tools for vendors and users of healthcare information systems to help them integrate systems and share information more effectively.
IHE Integration Profiles provide a practical summary of the standards-based integration capabilities defined in the IHE Technical Frameworks. They offer a common language for purchasers and vendors to discuss integration needs of healthcare enterprises and the integration capabilities of products. Integration Profiles are currently defined in three IHE domains: Cardiology, IT Infrastructure and Radiology. Descriptions of the established Integration Profiles are available at http://www.ihe.net/profiles.
IHE Integration Statements are documents prepared and published by vendors to describe the intended conformance of their products with the IHE Technical Framework. They identify the specific IHE capabilities a given product is designed to support in terms of the key concepts of IHE: Actors and Integration Profiles. Links to Web sites where companies have published their IHE Integrations Statements are provided at http://www.ihe.net/resources/ihe_integration_statements.cfm.
New: IHE Product Registry
IHE has developed a new Web-based database of Integration Statements. The IHE Product Registry--http://product-registry.ihe.net/--enables developers to create, manage and publish Integration Statements for their commercial and open source healthcare IT systems. It allows users to browse for these systems based on their conformance with specific IHE Actors and Profiles. The system is open for use by developers and users now!
User handbooks describe how users and implementers can take advantage of IHE to improve the way systems are selected, specified, purchased and deployed to achieve interoperability. The initial handbooks are specific to the domains of radiology and mammography. future editions will be expanded in scope to include other active IHE domains. To read and download the document go to http://www.ihe.net/resources/handbook.cfm.
User Success Stories
IHE User Success Story exhibits describe projects that have made use of the IHE Technical Framework and Integration Profiles to integrate systems within a healthcare institution. They highlight the advantages of using IHE to improve operational efficiency, productivity and workflow, communication and information access, patient safety and quality of care. The current set of User Success Story exhibits is available at www.ihe.net/resources/user_success_stories.cfm.
IHE provides a detailed process of interoperability testing to facilitate adoption of IHE capabilities by the imaging and information systems industry. The centerpiece of the testing process is the Connectathon, an annual, weeklong interoperability-testing event. More information about the Connectathon and a table of testing results from the most recent events is available at http://www.ihe.net/connectathon/connectathon_results.cfm.
The IHE Technical Frameworks are a detailed set of reference documents that guide systems developers and integrators in implementing standards to achieve IHE integration capabilities. The Technical Frameworks define standards-based transactions among systems, generically known as IHE Actors, that support specific workflow and integration capabilities, known as Integration Profiles. Technical Frameworks are published in all active IHE domains: Cardiology, IT Infrastructure, Laboratory and Radiology. The current set of stable Technical Frameworks, as well as supplements is available for review and download at http://www.ihe.net/Technical_Framework/index.cfm.
An important element of the IHE testing process is the set of software tools commissioned by the sponsoring organizations. Developed by an alliance of technical experts including the Electronic Radiology Laboratory at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology, Washington University of St. Louis, the laboratory of the Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et Automatique (INRIA) based in Rennes, France, the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology and several other research groups, these tools are designed for use by developers in implementing IHE capabilities in their systems. Their purpose is to provide communication partners, test data and test plans to allow organizations to provide a baseline level of testing as they implement the IHE Technical Framework. An index of these freely available tools is maintained on the IHE Wiki at http://wiki.ihe.net/index.php?title=Implementation.