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Usage of IHE Profiles

Publication date: Feb 25, 2013

During our IHE training courses we quite often get asked to what degree the IHE prtofiles have actually been implemented. There are some indirect sources that show us what profiles have been implemented in software.

There are no statistics on the actual deployment of software applications that conform to IHE profiles, given that there is no central registry of such implementations and that there is no requirement to license or register the use of IHE specifications.

The best sources, although they both offer an indirect indication of use, are the connectathon results and the IHE Product Registry. The latter registry contaisn a copy of most of the IHE intergation statements and as such reflects the historic / overall interest of vendors in a particular profile. The level of interest shown in a profile at a connectathon probably has a direct relationship with the requirements of the current healthcare IT environment.

The IHE website has a nice feature to query for connectathon results, and to download the resulting data in the form of a spreadsheet. For each and every profile I took the maximum number of 'gold stars' for any of its actors. For example: if ATNA has 3 actors, and one of those has 18 'gold stars' (whereas the other actors have less than 18), this counts as 18 implementations of the profile. The IHE Product Registry uses a similar counting mechanism when one selects products based on their stated compliance to one or more actors in a profile.

Initially I intended to use, and combine, all of the results of the 3 connectathons held in 2012: North America, Europe and Asia. To my surpirise however there are significant differences between the lists of the most often implemented IHE profiles.

IHE Product Registry

  1. Consistent Time (CT)
  2. Scheduled Workflow (SWF)
  3. Patient Information Reconciliation (PIR)
  4. Audit Trail and Node Authentication (ATNA)
  5. Consistent Presentation of Images (CPI)
  6. Access to Radiology Information (ARI)
  7. Cross-Enterprise Clinical Documents Share (XDS.b)
  8. Patient Identifier Cross-Reference (PIX)
  9. Portable Data for Imaging (PDI)
  10. Patient Demographics Query (PDQ)
  11. Evidence Documents (ED)
  12. Mammography Image (MAMMO)
  13. Cross-Enterprise Document Sharing of Scanned Documents (XDS-SD)
  14. Key Image Note (KIN)
  15. Cross-enterprise Document Sharing for Imaging (XDS-I.b)

North American 2013 Connectathon

  1. Consistent Time
  2. Audit Trail and Node Authentication
  3. Cross-Enterprise Clinical Documents Share (XDS.b)
  4. Patient Identifier Cross-referencing for MPI
  5. Patient Demographics Query
  6. Device Enterprise Communication
  7. Cross-Enterprise Document Reliable Interchange
  8. Cross Community Access
  9. Patient Identifier Cross-Reference
  10. Cross Community Patient Discovery
  11. Cross-Enterprise Sharing of Medical Summaries
  12. Cross-Enterprise Document Sharing of Scanned Documents
  13. Cross-enterprise Document Sharing for Imaging (XDS-I.b)
  14. Alarm Communication Management
  15. Basic Patient Privacy Consents

European Connectathon 2012

  1. Consistent Time
  2. Cross-Enterprise Clinical Documents Share (XDS.b)
  3. Audit Trail and Node Authentication
  4. Scheduled Workflow
  5. Patient Identifier Cross-referencing for MPI
  6. Patient Administration Management
  7. Portable Data for Imaging
  8. Cross-enterprise Document Sharing for Imaging (XDS-I.b)
  9. Patient Information Reconciliation
  10. Cross-Enterprise Document Sharing of Scanned Documents
  11. Access to Radiology Information
  12. Mammography Image
  13. Patient Identifier Cross-Reference
  14. Consistent Presentation of Images
  15. Key Image Note


The differences between the 3 lists seem to support my assumption that whereas the IHE product Registry provides one with a good indication of the profiles that have been implemented, one should look at the connectathon results to het an idea of the changes in the level of interest in the IHE profiles.

By looking at the connectathon results it's easy to see that XDS.b is of interest both in the US as well as in Europe. Note that the list for the North American connectathon only contains 1 single imaging related profile: XDS-I.b, whereas the European connectathon list is full of imaging profiles.

When one compares the two connectathon lists to the IHE Product Registry list the North American connectathon list is most out of line with the all-time favorite profile list as indicated by the IHE Product Registry. That, and the fact that there are a lot of XDS related profiles on the North American list, is probably a reflection of the current requirements of US provider organizations (e.g. HIEs, MU).

I'm sure IHE does this kind of analysis all the time - one can even do trending over time to see areas of increased interest. I haven't seen an analysis of that kind, should you know of one please let me know.

At least now I'll have some reliable statistics to show during our future European IHE Training Courses.


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