IHE ITI Technical Framework
The Final Text ITI Technical Framework is published here in HTML format and is no longer published as PDF. Trial Implementation supplements are available from the Volume 1 Table of Contents.

4 Metadata used in Document Sharing profiles

This section describes the metadata that is used in IHE profiles designed for sharing documents (Document Sharing profiles). The Document Sharing profiles are implementing the Document Sharing concept outlined in the ITI whitepaper entitled Health Information Exchange: Enabling Document Sharing Using IHE Profiles available on the IHE website (https://profiles.ihe.net/ITI/). This section assumes understanding of the concepts presented in the white paper.

ITI Document Sharing profiles which use this metadata include:

  • Cross-Enterprise Document Sharing (XDS.b)
  • Cross-Enterprise Document Reliable Interchange (XDR)
  • Cross-Enterprise Document Media Interchange (XDM)
  • Multi-Patient Queries (MPQ)
  • Cross-Community Access (XCA)

It is likely that future ITI profiles will also use Document Sharing metadata. Profiles from IHE domains other than ITI that use or constrain this metadata are not listed here. Those profiles will document their use of this metadata.

Document Sharing profiles manage two aspects of the documents being shared, the metadata about the document and the contents of the document.

Metadata encodes the properties of Documents, the environments they come from, circumstances of their submission, terms to reference in queries, and grouping with other Documents. If you think of a document as a book in a library, the index card in the library’s card catalog is the document metadata.

A Document is a byte sequence managed by actors in one or more IHE Document Sharing profiles. There is no concept of equivalent Documents. If the byte sequence is different, then the Documents are different.

Note that this definition of a Document is stricter than document definitions in DICOM®, HL7, HL7 CDA®, XML, and elsewhere. Those standards have concepts like "insignificant whitespace". Documents with different byte sequences, that those standards consider equivalent, will be treated as different Documents by IHE Document Sharing.

This stricter definition of a Document enables the Document Sharing actors to manage any document format, without the need to include a parser that understands the details of all the different document formats. It also enables most document indexing, registration, etc. to be done using metadata alone, without examining the document contents.

Section 4 first explains the metadata at a conceptual level (Section 4.1), then at an implementation level (Section 4.2) and then provides some profile- and transaction-specific metadata constraints and considerations (Section 4.3).

Content Profiles may impose restrictions on metadata attributes. See Section 5 for the restrictions imposed by ITI Content Profiles.

5 IHE Content Specifications

This section follows the documentation pattern found in the IHE PCC Technical Framework. The reader should be familiar with the IHE PCC Technical Framework.

6 IHE Namespaces, Concept Domains, and Vocabularies

This section references the namespaces, concept domains, and identifiers defined or referenced by the IHE ITI Technical Framework, and the vocabularies defined or referenced herein.