IHE-Europe's mission: IHE-Europe engages clinicians, health authorities, industry and users to improve healthcare interoperability by:
- Helping national and European stakeholders and policy-makers in adopting, promoting and implementing IHE specifications.
- Developing tools and services in support of interoperability testing.
Patients are the Winners
The seamless flow of health information between the different healthcare systems across Europe brings tremendous benefits to patients as well as the doctors and nurses providing vital care.
IHE-Europe is dedicated to interoperability in health information technology. It begins with an open process of developing integration profiles to assure IT systems can communicate with each other. Then, it is required to test these systems to verify that complex computer coding delivers the data. Finally, IHE-Europe actively promotes wider awareness and use of these methods for assuring continued conformance and compatibility.
IHE Integration and Content Profiles have been adopted by national and regional projects in countries such as Austria, France, Italy, Switzerland, Slovenia, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and several others. These specifications provide the guidance necessary to implement specific standards and profiles in commercial and self-developed systems that will help realise efforts towards large-scale interoperability of health information in Europe.
Activities of IHE in Europe
- IHE-Europe develops workflow descriptions and associated Integration and Content Profiles in specific healthcare domains based on user requirements as well as the testing software (Gazelle tools) required to support vendors in developing interoperability.
- IHE-Europe organises live interoperability testing between vendors at the annual European Connectathon, as well as follow-on live interoperability demonstrations. IHE-Europe has a permanent technical team that contributes to developing testing software (Gazelle tools) and provides an independent oversight body to publish the participating vendors Connectathon results.
- IHE-Europe’s core activities also include education and promotional activities, such as publishing interoperability success stories for creating awareness and encouraging utilisation of IHE Integration Profiles.
- Serving as a voice for European interests, IHE-Europe coordinates IHE development worldwide with IHE Initiatives for North America, Asia and Oceania in the international IHE organisational structure as well as close collaboration with standards development organisations (ISO, HL7, CEN, DICOM, etc.) and other profiling organisations such as the Continua Health Alliance that is leveraging IHE Profiles.
- Finally, IHE-Europe offers a unique suite of tools and services to hospitals, regional and national eHealth networks as well as vendors through its dedicated operational branch IHE-Services.
IHE-Europe plays a vital role in health information
By gathering key leaders and actors for health IT in Europe, IHE-Europe is able to coordinate shared efforts among National Initiatives and maintain regular communication with EU Member States.
The open organisational structure of IHE-Europe also enables manufacturers to develop and market products for European customers with only minor variations to reflect national preferences.
The association is able to coordinate activities and development with IHE North America and IHE Asia and Oceania. IHE-Europe is an active participant to the international Strategic Development Committee, the broadest oversight body of IHE International, that oversees adherence to goals and guidelines, communication and coordination among Domain Committees and harmonises diverse National and Regional Initiatives.