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IHE 'steamroller' rallies support in Canada

TORONTO Moves are afoot to create the Canadian wing of Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE), a U.S. group that's quickly gaining ground in the United States and around the world. By specifying the way computers should talk to each other when carrying out different functions everything from sending basic patient information to completed radiology, lab or other test results, the IHE consortium is paving the way for dramatically better communications between computerized systems.

The IHE organization first emerged from the radiology world in 1998 via the Radiology Society of North America (RSNA), and soon embraced IT in general through an alliance with the Healthcare Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS). They're now reaching out to cardiology and laboratory informatics associations and vendors.

"IHE is a breakthrough in healthcare," said Dr. David Koff (pictured at left), a radiologist at Sunnybrook and Women's Health Sciences Centre in Toronto. "Hospitals and clinics have had a lot of trouble moving computerized images and information around this gives them a way of doing it."

Dr. Koff made his remarks as a spokesperson for the Canadian Association of Radiologists at a Toronto meeting to promote the IHE in Canada.

The videocast event drew over 180 participants in Toronto, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. It was jointly organized by the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA), HIMSS Ontario and the Information Technology Association of Canada's Ontario branch (ITAC Ontario), in conjunction with the Canadian Association of Radiologists and trade association CHITTA a remarkable display of camaraderie and cooperation.

Extensive information about the IHE is available at and

Canadian healthcare professionals and vendors wishing to become involved were asked to contact Caren Adno, vice president of ITAC Ontario. She can be reached through the web at