IHE IT Infrastructure (ITI) Technical Framework, General Introduction

Revision 1.2 October 25, 2019


4 The IHE Approach

IHE profiles facilitate interoperability – “is a characteristic of a product or system, whose interfaces are completely understood, to work with other products or systems, present or future, in either implementation or access, without any restrictions.” (Wikipedia.com, 2017, “Interoperability”).

In HIT systems, interoperability typically involves the following aspects:

Each IHE profile emphasizes and addresses these aspects of integration to a different degree. For example, the Radiology Scheduled Workflow Profile concentrates on workflow and messaging but also addresses limited content and nomenclature, while the Cardiology Imaging Report Content Profile is primarily about content and nomenclature.

Workflow is documented in IHE in the body of the profile, often in the form of a process flow diagram. Transport is documented in IHE in the form of transactions. Content is documented in the form of content modules, and sometimes directly in the body of transactions when the message payload is relatively fixed. Content may include nomenclature, which is documented in profiles, transactions, content modules, or the underlying standards as appropriate.