IHE moves beyond integrating the radiology enterprise

March 2, 2005

Until recently, the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise initiative was actually more of an integrating the radiology enterprise.

Until recently, the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise initiative was actually more of an integrating the radiology enterprise.

Of the 18 existing integration profiles, 14 pertain to radiology, including the first 12, exposing the IHE's radiology roots. The IHE began in 1998 as a collaboration between the RSNA and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.

Integration profile feelers are now breaking ground in hospital departments outside of the radiology department. Along with several new radiology profiles, the IHE recently introduced four new IT infrastructure profiles, one lab profile, and three cardiology profiles.

Integrating the IT Infrastructure (ITI) and other efforts beyond the walls of radiology are the IHE's entry into the electronic medical record sweepstakes.

"The IHE ITI profile is a move for IHE from subspecialty areas such as radiology into the mainstream EMR and beyond, into the nebulous area of connectivity between the myriad different systems that form the modern healthcare environment," Dr. Nogah Haramati told a standing-room-only SCAR University session.

While the initial IHE profiles were radiology-centric, IHE-ITI was created specifically to address problems associated with multisystem environments, said Haramati, chief of radiology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Five key IHE-ITI profiles include Retrieve Information for Display (RID), Enterprise User Authentication (EUA), Patient Identifier Cross-Referencing (PIX), Patient Synchronized Applications (PSA), and Consistent Time (CT).

"RID, for instance, is a fast, simple, read-only access to patient information," Haramati said.

RID supports access to existing persistent documents in popular presentation formats such as PDF and JPEG.

"Persistent documents are not documents that won't go away; they are documents that are always the same, like a chest x-ray or a cardiac cath report," he said.

RID also supports access to key patient-centric information, such as allergies, current medications, lab reports, and even information that can change from moment to moment, he said.