HIMSS News

IHE Announces Free Webinar Series Focused on Advancing Standards-Based Interoperability in Health IT

CHICAGO (June 6, 2011) - Each year it becomes more evident that health information technology (HIT) can improve the quality, efficiency and safety of healthcare. Achieving its full potential requires carefully coordinating information and systems across the spectrum of care. For more than a decade, IntegratingtheHealthcareEnterprise (IHE) has engaged key stakeholders in healthcare and health IT to advance standards-based interoperability for health IT systems.

Background on IHE:  IHE publishes implementation guides called IHE profiles that define the use of standards to address specific health IT interoperability needs. These documents are developed by teams of volunteer domain experts and published for free use in volumes called the IHE Technical Frameworks. IHE also organizes annual IHEConnectathons in North America, Europe and a growing number of Asia Pacific countries, where health IT developers can test their implementations of IHE profiles with industry peers.

IHE profiles are now implemented in hundreds of HIT products and in care settings around the world. They provide the foundation for numerous health information exchange and electronic health record programs internationally and support many of the capabilities specified under the Meaningful Use program of the US Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

"The real benefit of health IT is achieved when we seamlessly and securely coordinate HIT systems into a greater whole," says David S. Mendelson, MD, Chief of Clinical Informatics at The Mount Sinai Medical Center and co-chair of the IHE International Board. "This is a problem many of us wrestle with every day. IHE profiles provide an efficient, standards-based method to address it."

Webinar Series:  IHE is announcing a series of free educational webinars that will explain how to leverage and become engaged in the IHE process. The series starts with an overview session on June 28. Other sessions will present new profiles in each of the IHE clinical and operational domains and highlight how to participate in IHE’s Domain Committees, National Deployment Committees, Connectathons and demonstrations. Developers and users of health IT systems can learn how to use IHE profiles to build and implement interoperable HIT systems.

“The free webinar series provides insights from thought leaders who can explain the value of standards-based interoperability as well as the clinical and administrative benefits for end-users who implement IHE-based solutions and for vendors who develop and offer IHE-based products,” said Joyce Sensmeier, MS, RN-BC, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, FAAN, President, IHE USA.

The sessions are sponsored by IHEInternational, IHEUSA and other National Deployment Committees, as well as HIMSS and other sponsors of IHE. They are organized into four categories of interest to engage both new and established participants:

    1. Implementing IHE Profiles webinars will present new Profiles developed in 12 IHE domains, review the profile development process and show how to participate.
    2. Connectathons and Testing webinars will help HIT developers prepare for the IHE North America Connectathon 2012 and other IHE testing events.
    3. Demonstrations and the HIMSS Interoperability Showcase™ webinars will outline participation in the HIMSS12 Interoperability Showcase™; and
    4. IHE National Deployment Committee Updates will help stakeholders get engaged in deployment activities in Canada, the USA and elsewhere around the world.


Webinar sessions will be presented on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the summer.  The full schedule of presentations and speakers is available on IHE International’s 2011 EducationWebinarSeriesWebpage or register online. Interested parties can also sign up for the list serve to receive updated information weekly.  

The webinars are designed to prepare HIT developers for the Aug. 22 opening of registration for the IHE North American Connectathon 2012 and HIMSS12 Interoperability Showcase™  and for other IHE testing and demonstration events. Additional details regarding registration, testing and related events will be announced during the webinar series. Potential participants in the January 2012 Connectathon should also review the IHENorthAmericaConnectathonPolicyandGuidelines 2012.

For more information, please contact secretary@iheusa.org.

About IHE USA:
IHE USA (www.iheusa.org) is a not-for-profit organization established in 2010 that operates as a deployment committee of IHE International®. The mission of IHE USA is to drive adoption of standards-based interoperability to improve patient care through innovation, standards profiling, testing, education and collaboration. IHE USA improves the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare delivery by supporting the deployment of standards-based electronic health record systems, facilitating the exchange of health information among care providers, both within the enterprise and across care settings, and enabling local, regional and nationwide health information networks in the United States, all in a manner consistent with participation in the activities of IHE International, Inc.

About IHE International:
IHE International, Inc. (www.ihe.net) is the global hub of the IHE initiative, a multi-stakeholder effort started in 1997 to promote the effective use of electronic health records and health information technology (HIT) by driving the adoption of standards-based solutions for interoperability. IHE International brings together HIT experts and stakeholders in more than a dozen clinical and operational domains to develop implementation guides call IHE Profiles that define the use of standards to address specific HIT interoperability needs. It also oversees a process of testing that fosters the adoption of IHE Profiles in real-world HIT products and care settings. IHE interoperability solutions are implemented in hundreds of products and in care sites around the world.

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For more information, contact:
Joyce Lofstrom/HIMSS
312-915-9237   jlofstrom@himss.org