Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise Community Releases Document Sharing Metadata Handbook

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The Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) community has published a new Document Sharing Metadata Handbook to guide organizations in best practice management of metadata for healthcare document sharing.

The Document Sharing profiles from IHE including Cross-Enterprise Document Sharing (XDS) and Cross-Community Sharing (XCA), which enable a community to share patient-specific medical documents. This is described in the Health Information Exchange: Enabling Document Sharing Using IHE Profiles white paper. Each document shared is described by metadata. A community deploying a Health Information Exchange (HIE) this way needs to define some metadata constraints and practices, so that the documents are found when they are needed. This handbook helps a community develop appropriate constraints.

Document Sharing

Purpose of the Document Sharing Metadata Handbook

This handbook is intended to assist the reader on the steps necessary to define how document metadata can be used, how to enforce and propagate that use and how to evolve the document metadata use constraints over time. Use of this handbook will produce a set of documentation and plans that we call your Community Metadata Specification. A well-managed Community Metadata Specification is an essential component of an efficient and coordinated document sharing system. This becomes more important with increase in participation, the number of patients, document types and shared documents.

This handbook uses the term “community” as defined in the Health Information Exchange: Enabling Document Sharing Using IHE Profiles white paper. This definition is inclusive of an XDS Affinity Domain, an XCA Community, or a set of XCA communities. This definition is also inclusive of the use of MHD file format (XDS-on-FHIR), although further discussion of MHD is not explicitly included in this handbook.

This handbook constrains document metadata to enable optimal discoverability of the shared documents within your community. There are other responsibilities of community management: patient identity and demographics management, organizational identification and credentialing, privacy policy, security policy, partner certification processes, etc. IHE addresses these broader topics in other publications listed in Section 1.3, including the white paper, Template for XDS Affinity Domain Deployment Planning.

This handbook is available for download. Read the full IHE announcement.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog or by commenters are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HIMSS or its affiliates.

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