IHE expands outreach at HIMSS meeting

January 29, 2002

Among the special events unfolding at this week's HIMSS meeting are several related to the joint RSNA-HIMSS Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) initiative. This year, the IHE demonstration has been expanded to include a self-guided interactive

Among the special events unfolding at this week's HIMSS meeting are several related to the joint RSNA-HIMSS Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) initiative. This year, the IHE demonstration has been expanded to include a self-guided interactive video presentation, six educational workshops, and a guided demonstration.

IHE is in its third year of pursuing the ideal of improved patient care through standards-based, seamless integration of software solutions used throughout the enterprise.

Attendees at the HIMSS meeting first encounter the IHE video kiosk on the main concourse, where it offers an interactive CD-ROM and printed handouts. From there, users are directed to the IHE demonstrations and educational sessions, which run throughout the conference.

The demo area allows attendees to road test IHE, learning how to use it to acquire and implement integrated systems. Seven integration profiles are available:

?Scheduled Workflow
?Patient Information Reconciliation
?Consistent Presentation of Images
?Presentation of Grouped Procedures
?Access to Radiology Information
?Key Image Notes
?Simple Image and Numeric Reports

The week-long IHE Connectathon last October brought 72 distinct software systems representing more than 30 separate manufacturers together for five days of live fire. Using transactions defined in the IHE Technical Framework, the vendors configured, integrated, and tested hundreds of vendor-to-vendor connections, removing integration barriers that otherwise would have to be dealt with onsite, often at the client's expense.

Compatible connections lead directly to better patient care. Caregivers who are hampered by systems that don't share information effectively find that critical data may be missing or difficult to access. Treatment decisions frequently must be made without a comprehensive view of current, accurate, and complete patient information. IHE provides the framework for compatibility.

Aside from its expanded IHE coverage, HIMSS also has a newly written monograph available. Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (ISBN 0-9715301-1-4), edited by Paul R. Vegoda, is available at the HIMSS bookstore, or online at http://www.himss.org.

Background material on IHE is available on the RSNA Web site, http://www.rsna.org/IHE.