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Ana Castilho

Interoperability - Joining IHE International


Interoperability in Healthcare.  Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE International)

epSOS European Patient – Smart Open Services project was a massive and a key interoperability project for iUZ, as we explained in our business case study. Through this project and some others, we’ve achieved knowledge and experience in the IHE Profiles field.

As we referred, through the epSOS we’ve started to use some IHE Profiles, and we’ve already been to three IHE Connectathons in Europe (Bern – 2012, Istanbul – 2013 and Vienna – 2014), as we explained in this post.

This type of actions gave us the needed experience and background in IHE profiles field, and for that we consider that was time to become an institutional member of IHE International.


We’ve been accepted as a IHE Member Organisation, in the middle of August

But, for those who do not know, what is IHE International?

IHE International – Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise is a U.S. organisation that intends to promote the Health Industry connected to interoperability. IHE aims to improve sharing communication between information systems linked through the creation and development of interoperability standards.

Our membership allows us to contribute in a pro-bono basis, with more than 200 organisations in IHE International. We have associated to the IT Infrastructure Domain, regarding the Technical Committee, where Ivo Pinheiro and Marcelo Fonseca are representing iUZ.
According with IHE, IT Infrastructure (ITI) Domain:

“… addresses the implementation of standards-based interoperability solutions to improve information sharing, workflow and patient care.

This domain, begun in 2003, was originally launched by sponsor Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS). In 2008, GIP-DMP (Groupement d’Intérêt Public pour le Dossier Médical Personnel) joined HIMSS to help sponsor this domain adding additional user representation in Europe.

Together they are responsible for development and publication of the IHE IT Infrastructure Technical Framework.“ (Source: IHE – ITI Domain)

Throughout the ITI Committee association, selected by us among a range of 22 other committees, we can have a voice participating in meetings regarding the creation and revise of IHE profiles concerning the domain.


epSOS and OpenNCP- Open National Contact Point using IHE Profiles

Our work in Interoperability in Healthcare and in IHE Profiles was mainly during epSOS implementation, and subsequently OpenNCP. We have applied the usage of the following profiles:

  • XCPD (Cross-Community Patient Discovery): The Cross-Community Patient Discovery (XCPD) profile supports the means to locate communities which hold Patient relevant health data and the translation of Patient identifiers across communities holding the same Patient’s data. A community can contain EHRs, PHRs and other systems. More info at: http://bit.ly/IHE-XCPD
  • XCA (Cross-Community Access): The Cross-Community Access profile supports the means to query and retrieve Patient relevant medical data held by other communities. A community can contain EHRs, PHRs and other systems and healthcare applications. More info at: http://bit.ly/IHE-XCA
  • XDR (Cross-Enterprise Document Reliable Interchange): Cross-Enterprise Document Reliable Interchange (XDR) provides document interchange using a reliable messaging system. This permits direct document interchange between EHRs, PHRs, and other healthcare IT systems. More info at: http://bit.ly/IHE-XDR
  • XUA (Cross-Enterprise User Assertion): The Cross-Enterprise User Assertion Profile (XUA) provides a means to communicate claims about the identity of an authenticated principal (user, application, system, etc) in transactions that cross enterprise boundaries. The XUA Profile supports enterprises with different authentication mechanisms. More info at: http://bit.ly/IHE-XUA
  • BPPC (Basic Patient Privacy Consents): This profile provides a mechanism to record the Patient privacy consent(s) and a method for Content Consumers to use to enforce the privacy consent appropriate to the use. More info at: http://bit.ly/IHEBPPC

Tell us your thoughts, below in the comments.

(image: Chris Potter)



Opening the Future of Healthcare.
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