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Health Information Technology Standards

Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE)

Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) is a multi-year initiative under the leadership of Healthcare Information Management & Systems Society (HIMSS) and the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). IHE began in November 1998 as a collaborative effort to improve the way computer systems in healthcare share critical information. IHE includes medical and public health experts, administrators, standards organizations, IT professionals, and vendors. IHE Technical Committees develop integration profiles to assure that health information seamlessly is passing from application to application, system to system, and setting to setting — across the entire healthcare enterprise. IHE Information Infrastructure Technical Committee develops privacy and security integration profiles, such as Patient electronic consent, Anonymization / Pseudonymization, as well as other structured document exchange integration profiles.

PHDSC was invited by IHE to start a Public Health Domain at IHE. PHDSC and IHE are collaborating to enable interoperability across clinical and public health enterprises. This includes the development of interoperability standards for immunization information systems, cancer registries, chronic disease registries (diabetes) and maternal and child health (newborn screening). This also includes work on information infrastructure issues such as service-oriented architecture (SOA) for public health. PHDSC member organizations, American Immunization Registry Association (AIRA), North-American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR), Software Partners and OZ Systems, have been working on various public health projects at IHE.

IHE Connectathon is the healthcare IT industry's largest interoperability testing event. The full range of profiles defined in the IHE Technical Frameworks are tested in a carefully organized and supervised environment. More than 70 vendors have registered to test more than 130 healthcare IT systems in 2009.

IHE Quality, Research and Public Health

The IHE Quality, Research and Public Health (QRPH) domain addresses the information exchange and electronic health record content standards necessary to share information relevant to quality improvement in patient care, clinical research and public health monitoring. Globally there is a need to gather and report on secondary data used in public health, clinical decision support and research to improve the quality, efficiency and safety of patient care delivery.

The QRPH domain addresses specifications for patient selection, individual and aggregate date reporting, and privacy and security constraints for re-use of patient information, enabling experts in health quality, research and public health to collaborate and coordinate their activities.

As of spring 2012, QRPH Technical Committee has published the following profile supplements. Detailed specifications of these profiles are contained in the QRPH Technical Framework page. Brief summary descriptions of the profiles are available on the Profile wiki page. Profiles include:
  • Early Hearing Care Plan (EHCP) assists with the early detection, documentation of and intervention for hearing loss by enabling electronic communication of care plan content and instructions available to all authorized providers of care as jurisdictionally directed by the Public Health Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Program.
  • Maternal Child Health-Birth and Fetal Death Reporting (MCH-BFDrpt) defines the EHR content that may be used to pre-populate and transmit birth and fetal death information to vital records systems for vital registration purposes.
  • Physician Reporting to a Public Health Repository-Cancer Registry (PRPH- Ca) defines the data elements to be retrieved from the EMR and transmitted to the cancer registry or to a healthcare provider.