IHE Process

Engaging HIT Stakeholders in a Proven Process

IHE brings together users and developers of healthcare information technology (HIT) in an annually recurring four-step process:

  1. Clinical and technical experts define critical use cases for information sharing.
  2. Technical experts create detailed specifications for communication among systems to address these use cases, selecting and optimizing established standards.
  3. Industry implements these specifications called IHE Profiles in HIT systems.
  4. IHE tests vendors’ systems at carefully planned and supervised events called Connectathons.


IHE also organizes demonstrations of IHE-compliant systems working in real-world clinical scenarios at medical meetings and other venues.

Domain Committees: Meeting Critical Interoperability Needs

IHE committees follow the four-step annual process to address interoperability in a variety of clinical domains:

  • Cardiology
  • Dental
  • Devices
  • Endoscopy
  • Eye Care
  • IT Infrastructure
  • Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
  • Patient Care Coordination
  • Pharmacy
  • Quality, Research and Public Health
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Radiology
  • Surgery

IHE invites clinical and technical domain experts to become leaders in this work by participating in IHE domain committees or reviewing the documents they publish for public comment. Learn more »

More than100 member organizations -professional societies, government agencies, provider organizations, HIT companies and others-have joined the IHE initiative worldwide. Become a member organization »

Integration Profiles: A Framework for Interoperability

IHE Profiles provide a standards-based framework for sharing information within care sites and across networks. They address critical interoperability issues related to information access for care providers and patients, clinical workflow, security, administration and information infrastructure. Each profile defines the actors, transactions and information content required to address the clinical use case by referencing appropriate standards.

See capsule descriptions of current IHE profiles in each domain. IHE Profiles are compiled into IHE Technical Frameworks-detailed technical documents that serve as implementation guides and Technical Frameworks freely available online.

Connectathons: Testing Interoperability and Conformance

IHE has been testing the interoperability of HIT systems for more than a decade. At IHE Connectathons held regularly in several locations internationally, trained technical experts supervise testing of vendor systems, making use of advanced testing software developed by IHE and several partner organizations. More than 250 vendors worldwide have implemented and tested products with IHE capabilities.

For more information contact testing@ihe.net.

Product Registry and User Handbooks: Advice for Purchasers and Implementers

The IHE Product Registry provides essential information for IT administrators and executives responsible for purchasing and integrating systems at healthcare sites and health information exchanges. Detailed results of testing at IHE Connectathons over the past several years in Europe, North America and Asia are made available in this easy-to-use online database. These results are cross-linked to IHE Integration Statements- conformance commitments of the IHE capabilities of commercial products-from dozens of vendors worldwide.

IHE also provides domain-specific guidance for purchasers and implementers of HIT systems in the form of IHE handbooks and white papers.

Supporting Health Information Networks Worldwide

Carefully implemented interoperability standards are the foundation of EHRs, PHRs (personal health records) and health information exchanges being established around the world. IHE has developed a foundational set of profiles for secure exchange of patient information across enterprises. IHE profiles support health information networks in Canada and the U.S.A, as well as several Asian and European countries, and have been accepted as requirements by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services for federal procurement of healthcare IT systems.