IHE Press Release: HITCH in healthcare information systems guarantees quality in delivering interoperability between patient records

26 April 2011 -- Electronic medical records can help deliver higher quality patient care, but can healthcare providers count on the computer systems that are delivering the information?

The first step toward assuring quality management in the testing of health information systems took place April 11 to 15, 2011 at the 11th annual IHE European Connectathon.

The successful evaluation of the quality management system (QMS) for the interoperability testing at the IHE Connectathon marks the start of a journey on a roadmap created by HITCH, a project sponsored by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme.

"Vendors, users, patients and health authorities need to agree on practical solutions to validate and assert the interoperability of eHealth systems by means of appropriate testing and certification or quality labelling," according to the Commission, which describes the roadmap from HITCH as critical for implementing e-health in Europe.

The QMS model advanced by HITCH will now be developed in detail by IHE for its interoperability testing at Connectathon, a week-long connectivity marathon where vendors, healthcare institutions and Member States of the European Union validate information systems against internationally accepted profiles to assure interoperability.

During the European Connectathon in Pisa, a HITCH satellite workshop featured presentations from the partners in the project, which include the leading organisations for interoperability standards and process improvement in Europe, as well as representatives of the European Commission.

To learn more about HITCH and the roadmap for interoperability of healthcare systems in Europe, please visit www.hitch-project.eu. For more information about IHE-Europe please visit: www.ihe-europe.net.

About IHE-Europe

IHE-Europe is the European organisation of the international IHE organisation. ‘Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise’ (IHE) is a joint initiative of healthcare professionals and industry to improve the way computer systems in healthcare share information. IHE promotes the coordinated use of established standards such as DICOM, XML and HL7 to address specific clinical needs in support of optimal patient care. Systems developed in accordance with IHE specifications communicate with one another better, are easier to implement, and enable care providers to use information more effectively.


Healthcare Interoperability Testing and Conformance Harmonisation (HITCH) is developing a vision of how interoperability and conformance testing of eHealth systems should be organized in Europe and beyond. This ranges from the analysis of eHealth testing tools, over quality management in interoperability testing, to complete certification and quality labeling scenarios. Partially funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme, HITCH began in January, 2010 and continues for 18 months. Partners in the HITCH program are INRIA, IHE-Europe, OFFIS, ETSI, MedCom and EuroRec.

Press contacts:

Karima Bourquard HITCH Coordinator Tel: +33 950 605 931 karima.bourquard@in-system.eu

Marie-Astrid Libert IHE-Europe Communications Tel: +32 (2) 706 89 60 coordinator@ihe-europe.net

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