Healthcare professionals seeking to acquire or upgrade systems need a convenient, reliable way of specifying a level of compliance to standards sufficient to achieve truly efficient interoperability. The purpose of the IHE initiative is to meet that need.

IHE Profiles provide a common language for purchasers and vendors to discuss the integration needs of healthcare sites and the integration capabilities of healthcare IT products. They offer developers a clear implementation path for communication standards supported by industry partners and carefully documented, reviewed and tested. They give purchasers a tool that reduces the complexity, cost and anxiety of implementing interoperable systems.

Profiles and Standards

IHE Profiles organize and leverage the integration capabilities that can be achieved by coordinated implementation of communication standards, such as DICOM, HL7 W3C and security standards. They provide precise definitions of how standards can be implemented to meet specific clinical needs.

IHE Domains and Annual Work Cycles

IHE is organized across a growing number of clinical and operational domains. Each domain produces its own set of Technical Framework documents, in close coordination with other IHE domains. Committees in each domain review and republish these documents annually, often expanding with supplements that define new profiles. Initially, each profile is published for public comment. After the comments received are addressed, the revised profile is republished for trial implementation; that is, for use in the IHE implementation testing process. If criteria for successful testing are achieved, the profile is published as final text and incorporated into the domain’s Technical Framework.

The links below lead to brief descriptions of IHE profiles that have been published.