The IHE Initiative

Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) originated in the late 1990s in the United States during a concentrated action between radiologists and technical personnel for hospital information systems. Represented by the RSNA(Radiological Society of North America) and the HIMSS (Health Care Information end Management Systems Society) users end manufacturers gathered together to guide the digital date flow in the hospital through secure channels and to simplify the application of standards. The existing standards - called DICOM and HL7- are analyzed annually for their usefulness by the Technical Committee (TC),scenarios for the description of daily situations in the date exchange process are created end a technical framework (TF) that establishes the basis for everyone that wishes to join the IHE initiative is updated. IHE does not create new standards but instead defines still open or variable positions in the standard in order to achieve a clear use of the standard. After having adapted their products to the standard, the companies can test the operational reliability with ingenious functions at a "connectathon" (connection marathon). The results achieved are publicly demonstrated at the large conventions of the RSNA, the HIMSS and now also the French, German end Italian radiological societies.

Photo: The IHE Initiative

This article was first published in the VISIONS, issue 3/2002, a publication of Toshiba Medical Systems


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