As we have discussed in previous RSNA posts, Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) has had a major presence at the show. Yesterday, Nikolaus Wirsz, PhD, manager IT standards, Siemens Medical Solutions, gave a presentation entitled The IHE Initiative Worldwide: An Update. During the presentation, he stated “IHE is not a local problem; we are seeing integration problems everywhere. As a result, IHE has been promoted worldwide.”
Although the crux of his statement is true, healthcare integration is being resolved locally by many hospitals, imaging centers, clinics, and labs. IHE is an important organization that is driving how the various standards can be used to enable healthcare interoperability, and it is essential that the standards be promoted worldwide.
In reality, healthcare institutions are not waiting. Radiology practices are putting information technology solutions in place to extend their electronic data exchanges to the referring physician community. Hospitals, labs, and clinics are doing the same.
Healthcare interoperability, with HL7 integration being an essential part of it, is occurring at the local level. Their driving forces are streamlining workflow, enhancing quality of patient care and experience, and improving productivity. Healthcare interoperability is being led locally as well as by IHE.
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