2 Overview of National Extensions to the Technical Framework
The goal of IHE is to promote implementation of standards-based solutions to improve workflow and access to information in support of optimal patient care. To that end, IHE encourages the development of IHE National Deployment Committees to address issues specific to local health systems, policies and traditions of care. The role of these organizations and information about how they are formed is available at http://ihe.net/Governance/#National_Deployment .
2.1 Scope of National Extensions
National extensions to the IHE Technical Framework are allowed in order to address specific local healthcare needs and promote the implementation of the IHE Technical Frameworks. They may add (though not relax) requirements that apply to the Technical Framework generally or to specific transactions, actors and integration profiles. Some examples of appropriate national extensions are:
- Require support of character sets and national languages
- Provide translation of IHE concepts or data fields from English into other national languages
- Extensions of patient or provider information to reflect policies regarding privacy and confidentiality
- Changes to institutional information and financial transactions to conform to national health system payment structures and support specific local care practices
All national extensions shall include concise descriptions of the local need they are intended to address. They shall identify the precise transactions, actors, integration profiles and sections of the Technical Framework to which they apply. And they must provide technical detail equivalent to that contained in the Technical Framework in describing the nature of the extension.
2.2 Process for Developing National Extensions
National extension documents are to be developed, approved and incorporated in the Technical Framework in coordination with the IHE Technical Committee and its annual cycle of activities in publishing and maintaining the Technical Framework. The first prerequisite for developing a national extension document is to establish a national IHE initiative and make information regarding its composition and activities available to other IHE initiatives.
Established IHE national initiatives may draft a document describing potential national extensions containing the general information outlined above. This draft document is submitted to the IHE Technical Committee for review and comment. Based on discussion with the Technical Committee, they prepare and submit finalized version of the document in appropriate format for incorporation into the Technical Framework. The publication of National Extensions is to be coordinated with the annual publication cycle of other Technical Framework documents in the relevant domain.
2.3 Process for Proposing Revisions to the Technical Framework
In addition to developing national extension documents to be incorporated in the Technical Framework, national IHE initiatives may also propose revisions to the global Technical Framework. These may take the form of changes to existing transactions, actors or integration profiles or the addition of new ones. Such general changes would be subject to approval by the IHE Technical and Planning Committees.
National extensions that are minor in scope, such as suggestions for clarifications or corrections to documentation, may be submitted throughout the year via the ongoing errata tracking process, called the Change Proposal Process .
More substantial revision proposals, such as proposals to add new integration profiles or major country-based extensions, should be submitted directly to the IHE Technical and Planning Committees via the process for submitting new proposals called the Profile Proposal Process.