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Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) International Welcomes 93 Member Organizations

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 – (January 10, 2008) – Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE®), an association dedicated to improving patient care by promoting the adoption of standards-based and interoperable solutions for healthcare information systems, has taken a major step in its evolution as an international organization by approving the first set of applications to become member organizations.

During its meeting on January 10, 2008, the interim board of IHE International accepted 93 members from the first group of applications submitted. The newly approved member organizations include healthcare professional societies, healthcare IT vendors, provider organizations, universities, standards organizations, government agencies and other stakeholder groups interested in promoting the adoption of interoperable healthcare IT systems and electronic patient records. A list of IHE Member Organizations is available at https://www.ihe.net/governance/member_organizations.cfm.

In order to qualify for membership, organizations had to agree to compliance with IHE International’s governance documents, which ensures transparency, equitable representation, and the disclosure and fair use of intellectual property. Representatives of the member organizations approved on January 10 will be eligible to participate in the first election of IHE International Board members in March 2008. The current interim board comprises representatives of the sponsoring organizations of IHE and each of its clinical/operational domains.

Interim IHE International Board Co-Chair, Elliot Sloane, PhD, Assistant Professor of Information Systems, Villanova School of Business, Villanova University, noted, “The number of formal applications demonstrates that the IHE process continues to be very important to member organizations’ corporate, institutional, or national strategies.  It is evident that continued active international IHE participation, and adoption of IHE standards over the past decade, resulted in this large group of initial applicants.  A significant number of additional applications continue to be received.  We are very encouraged by this strong level of international support and participation as we move forward in bringing the newly formed IHE International to life.”

Establishing clear requirements for organizational membership in IHE International is part of an overall effort to implement uniform governance policies and procedures. Member organizations commit themselves to abide by this enhanced governance model, including carefully specified intellectual property policies. The IHE International Board plans to incorporate as a non-profit corporation in 2008. IHE International governs the development of IHE Technical Frameworks and related activities.

Beginning March 1, IHE International will require that all IHE committee participants be designated representatives of IHE member organizations. Interested organizations who have not yet applied to become IHE members are encouraged to do so by completing the application on the IHE Governance Web page: https://www.ihe.net/governance/. This page also includes a link to the list of current member organizations. New applications will be reviewed and considered for approval at the regular monthly meetings of the IHE International Board.

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.