IHE Process

Engaging HIT stakeholders in a proven process. IHE brings together users and developers of healthcare information technology (HIT) in an annually recurring four-step process:

IHE process


  1. Clinical and technical experts define critical use cases for information sharing.
  2. Technical experts create detailed specifications for communication among systems to address these use cases, selecting and optimising established standards.
  3. Industry implements these specifications called IHE Profiles in HIT systems.
  4. IHE tests vendors' systems at carefully planned and supervised events called Connectathons.

IHE also organises demonstrations of IHE-compliant systems working in real-world clinical scenarios at medical meetings and other venues.

Domain Committees: Meeting Critical Interoperability Needs

IHE Committees follow the four-step annual process to address interoperability in a variety of clinical domains:

  • Anatomic Pathology
  • Cardiology
  • Dental
  • Endoscopy
  • Eye Care
  • IT Infrastructure
  • Laboratory
  • Patient Care Coordination
  • Patient Care Devices
  • Pharmacy
  • Quality, Research and Public Health
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Radiology

IHE invites clinical and technical domain experts to become leaders in this work by participating in IHE Domain Committees or reviewing the documents they publish for public comment. Learn more »

More than 250 member organisations - professional societies, government agencies, provider organisations, HIT companies and others - have joined the IHE initiative worldwide. Become a member organisation »

Integration Profiles: A Framework for Interoperability

IHE Profiles provide a standards-based framework for sharing information within care sites and across networks. They address critical interoperability issues related to information access for care providers and patients, clinical workflow, security, administration and information infrastructure. Each Profile defines the actors, transactions and information content required to address the clinical use case by referencing to appropriate standards.

See capsule descriptions of current IHE Profiles in each domain. IHE Profiles are compiled into IHE Technical Frameworks - detailed technical documents that serve as implementation guides and are freely available online.

Connectathons: Testing Interoperability and Conformance

IHE has been testing the interoperability of HIT systems for more than a decade. At IHE Connectathons held regularly at several international locations, trained technical experts supervise testing of vendor systems, making use of advanced testing software developed by IHE and several partner organisations. More than 250 vendors worldwide have implemented and tested products with IHE capabilities.

Product Registry and User Handbooks: Advice for Purchasers and Implementers

The IHE Product Registry provides essential information for IT administrators and executives responsible for purchasing and integrating systems at healthcare sites and health information exchanges. Detailed results of tests carried out at IHE Connectathons over the past several years in Europe, North America and Asia are made available in this easy-to-use online database. These results are cross-linked to IHE Integration Statements - conformance commitments of the IHE capabilities of commercial products - from dozens of vendors worldwide.

IHE also provides domain-specific guidance for purchasers and implementers of HIT systems in the form of IHE Handbooks and Whitepapers.

Supporting Health Information Networks Worldwide

Carefully implemented interoperability standards are the foundation of EHRs, PHRs (personal health records) and health information exchanges being established around the world. IHE has developed a foundational set of Profiles for secure exchange of patient information across enterprises. IHE Profiles support health information networks in Canada and the USA as well as several Asian and European countries and have been accepted as requirements by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services for federal procurement of healthcare IT systems.