Cross-Community Networking Passes New Milestone

ICWFor the first time, not just individual facilities, but entire 'networks of networks' such as hospital chains or healthcare regions, can be networked based on universally recognized standards. IHE (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise) has designated the profiles XCPD (Cross-Community Patient Discovery) and XCA (Cross-Community Access) for data sharing across community boundaries.

The XCPD profile is a query function to determine the unique identity of a patient in a different community. XCA is used to access any documents about the patient stored there.

The network solutions of the ICW eHealth Platform have already proved capable of supporting the XCPD and XCA profiles at IHE Connectathons in North America and Europe.

Following a series of successful tests, a large number actors with differing profiles have been implemented, both in the ICW Master Patient Index (ICW MPI) and in the ICW Professional Exchange Server (ICW PXS).

"Cross Community" solution in use:
To implement the Switzerland's national eHealth strategy, Abraxas is installing networking solutions from ICW in the Swiss canton of St. Gallen. The exchange of medical data between hospitals and office-based physicians in St. Gallen is over IHE-compliant cross-community gateways connected over Abaxas' eHealth Service Platform.

While in Switzerland the national strategy merely recommends compliance with IHE profiles, Austria has gone one step further and specified that networking solutions must be preponderantly based on IHE profiles. German initiatives in connection with the introduction of electronic medical records (eMR) are also favoring the use of IHE profiles.

There are two key advantages to IHE profile adoption: In Germany, the eMR has made progress in the areas of data privacy and protection. And standards-based networking solutions like ICW PXS can already guarantee the secure and smooth exchange of imagery across the boundaries between facilities or business sectors.

ICW CEO Peter Kirschbauer: "We appreciate this trend. But we need to take care that we don't have two standards developing in parallel. We see advantages in combining both uses. As a long-time member of IHE, we will be doing our best to ensure this happens."

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About ICW
ICW stands for pioneering, innovative health care information technology. We develop robust solutions to make processes in medical care better and more efficient. Together with our partners, our goal is to integrate the actors and systems in the healthcare system, to optimize the opportunities for innovative collaboration. As a supplier of technologies and solutions, we deliver compatible eHealth infrastructures and applications to the providers of health services. Technologies by ICW make it possible for institutions and enterprises to expand and network their existing IT infrastructure, and to disseminate patient data in a secure environment. For more information go to www.icw-global.com.

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