IHE Eye Care Print
IHE (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise) is an initiative by healthcare professionals and industry to improve the way computer systems in healthcare share information. In 1997, a consortium of radiologists and information technology experts formed IHE, or "Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise." IHE aims to create a process through which interoperability can be implemented. The group gathers case requirements, identifies available standards, and develops technical guidelines that manufacturers can implement. IHE also stages "connectathons" and "interoperability showcases" in which many vendors assemble to demonstrate the interoperability of their products.

IHE is an international organization that focuses on the development of global standards and on the regional deployment of interoperable products. Because of its limited resources, IHE concentrates on specific projects. It solicits proposals; and after surveying its members to better understand their priorities, it chooses areas to focus on.
Many purchasers and users report that systems that support IHE Integration Profiles communicate better, are easier to implement, enable care providers to use information more effectively and facilitate more efficient delivery of optimal patient care.

Well over 200 products have been released with support for one or more IHE Profiles. IHE is sponsored by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), and the American College of Cardiology (ACC). The Eye Care domain is sponsored by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Prioritized Projects
Currently, IHE has three prioritized projects:First, it would like to improve patient-ID binding, which ensures that medical data from one patient is never accidentally placed under the wrong name. Second, it hopes to enhance device-enterprise communication, and finally, it is interested in promoting the development of easy-to-use, point-of-care technology.

IHE Integration Profiles
IHE Integration Profiles describe a clinical information need or workflow scenario and document how to use established standards (e.g. HL7, DICOM, LOINC...) to accomplish it. A group of systems that implement the same Integration Profile address the need/scenario in a mutually compatible way.
  • Integration Profiles provide an implementation guide for equipment vendors
  • Integration Profiles are an effective shorthand for healthcare providers to specify integration requirements when purchasing systems.

IHE Integration Statements are simple documents prepared and published by a vendor to list the IHE Profiles supported by a specific release of a specific product.

IHE Technical Frameworks are the detailed documents which specify the Integration Profiles and the associated actors (systems) and transactions.

IHE Connectathons are annual events where equipment vendors bring products with IHE Profiles and test them with other vendors. Please click here for the AAO IHE Guidance.