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Extending International Efforts, Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise Adopts Enhanced Principles of Governance

For more information, contact:

Joyce Lofstrom/HIMSS
312-915-9237 – jlofstrom@himss.org
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IHE International and its multiple member organizations come together as an association

CHICAGO – (November 13, 2007) – Dedicated to improving patient care by promoting the adoption of standards-based and interoperable solutions for healthcare information systems, Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE®) has taken a major step in its evolution as an international organization by adopting in October the IHE Principles of Governance.  This document, unanimously approved by the IHE Strategic Development Committee, establishes IHE International as an association comprised of many member organizations. The IHE International Board also will take the necessary legal steps to form a non-profit corporation by March 2008.

“IHE has been an extraordinarily successful voluntary venture which has produced a large body of testable interoperability specifications in a relatively short time frame through the efforts of a large number of varied stakeholders,” said David S. Mendelson, MD, co-chair, IHE international board, and chief of clinical informatics, director of radiology information systems pulmonary radiology, Mount Sinai Medical Center.  “This step is a formalization of this organization that will allow it to extend its international efforts and work to deliver practical interoperability solutions in the quickly evolving world of healthcare.”

IHE International governs the development of IHE Technical Frameworks and related activities and provides a common, detailed manual of policies and procedures for the committees in each of IHE’s clinical and operational domains. It also creates new committees to address other vital areas of IHE’s mission. The IHE Principles of Governance document is available at https://www.ihe.net/governance/.

Highlights of the Principles of Governance are:

  • Establishment of the IHE International Board
  • Documentation of consistent criteria and requirements for current IHE participants and simple procedures for new member organizations to join IHE committees
  • Expansion of international participation and representation with continuing independence for national and regional IHE participants
  • Establishment of a Marketing and Communications Committee to ensure consistency across IHE International
  • Creation of a Testing and Tools Committee to coordinate the testing activities
  • Agreement on an intellectual property policy that binds all member organizations to patent disclosure and copyright and licensing provisions, eliminating potential conflicts of interest among contributors to the IHE Technical Frameworks and increasing confidence for users of these documents.

Creation of the new governance framework was spurred by the growing scope of the organization and its increasing engagement with national and regional healthcare IT and electronic health record exchange projects.

IHE International is currently accepting applications for potential member organizations. The current members of the Strategic Development will act as the IHE International Board until new board elections are held in early 2008. Member organization applications are also available on the IHE Governance Web page:https://www.ihe.net/governance/.

About IHE
IHE (www.ihe.net) is a global initiative, now in its ninth year, that creates the framework for passing vital health information seamlessly – from application to application, system to system, and setting to setting – across multiple healthcare enterprises.  IHE brings together health information technology stakeholders to implement standards for communicating patient information efficiently throughout and among healthcare enterprises by developing a framework of interoperability.  Because of its proven process of collaboration, demonstration and real world implementation of interoperable solutions, IHE is in a unique position to significantly accelerate the process for defining, testing, and implementing standards-based interoperability among electronic health record systems.

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is the healthcare industry’s membership organization exclusively focused on providing global leadership for the optimal use of healthcare information technology (IT) and management systems for the betterment of healthcare. Founded in 1961 with offices in Chicago, Washington D.C., Brussels, and other locations across the United States and Europe, HIMSS represents more than 20,000 individual members and over 300 corporate members that collectively represent organizations employing millions of people. HIMSS frames and leads healthcare public policy and industry practices through its advocacy, educational and professional development initiatives designed to promote information and management systems’ contributions to ensuring quality patient care. Visit www.himss.org for more information.

About RSNA
The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) is an association of more than 40,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists committed to promoting excellence in radiology through education and by fostering research, with the ultimate goal of improving patient care. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. Visit www.rsna.org for more information.