The stated goal of IHE (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise) is to "improve the way computer systems in healthcare share information". IHE was established in 1998 by the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) and Healthcare Information Systems and Management Society (HIMSS).
Each year, IHE organizes regional "Connectathons." At a Connectathon, vendors meet and integrate their respective information systems to see if they can exchange messages in a manner that fulfils the requirements stipulated by IHE.
IHE has created a comprehensive set of specifications for several medical domains including radiology, cardiology, radiation therapy, and laboratory. Each specification, called a technical framework, contains multiple integration profiles, with each profile addressing a specific clinical need.
The IHE committee always emphasizes that they are not developing a new standard. Rather, they select a subset of an existing standard such as DICOM or HL7, and when there are any gaps to be filled in, they request changes from the appropriate group as needed.
The IHE initiative speeds up the implementation of new additions to existing standards, and has facilitated improved integration of digital modalities, PACS, and IS by allowing vendors to identify and solve implementation challenges at Connectathons (rather than at customer sites).
The IHE home page is http://www.ihe.net/.
The IHE wiki is http://wiki.ihe.net/.