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Solutions for Interconnectivity Issues in Radiation Oncology: Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise-Radiation Oncology (IHE-RO)


R Kapoor

L Santanam

B Curran




R Kapoor1 2*, L Santanam3*, B Curran4*, , (1) VCU Health System, Richmond, VA, (2) National Radiation Oncology Program, Veteran Affairs Hospital, Richmond, VA (3) Washington University School of Medicine, St.louis, MO, (4) Rhode Island Hospital/Brown Medical Center, Providence, RI

WE-E-WAB-1 Wednesday 2:00PM - 2:55PM Room: Wabash Ballroom

Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise in Radiation Oncology (IHE-RO) is an ASTRO sponsored initiative, composed of vendors, physicists and clinicians dedicated to improving equipment and software integration issues related to radiation treatment. The objective of this initiative is to improve the way computer based systems in radiation oncology share information using well-defined data exchange standards (DICOM / HL7).

The Radiotherapy process requires integration of software and hardware from a variety of vendors using a multitude of systems. For this integration to be done successfully a series of data transfers must occur with 100% fidelity and reliability. Here there can be a significant problem of lack of interconnectivity and interoperability of electronic infrastructure. The follow-up care of radiation oncology patients extends over time and multiple care facilities. Therefore, it is critical that all patients’ healthcare data be readily available on demand to individuals and their changing healthcare providers.

The IHE-RO initiative has solved several interconnectivity and interoperability issues amongst Treatment Planning Systems, Treatment Management Systems and Treatment Delivery Systems. However, it is not easy for end users to discern the lack of interconnectivity amongst RT devices available in the market place. IHE-RO testing events and test tools have enabled vendors to successfully test and demonstrate interoperability between their products. These solutions will improve patient safety in concordance to the ASTRO ‘Target Safely’ initiative in addition to improving workflow efficiency in the clinic.

In 2004, ASTRO formed a multi-society, multi-national, and multi-specialty IHE-RO task force to address issues of interoperability and information sharing between various healthcare systems in radiation oncology and is working to resolve them in a systematic way using established industry standards. The IHE-RO task force consists of a planning committee (PC) and a technical committee (TC). The membership of these committees along with schedules of activities, meeting agendas and minutes, and working documents can be found on the IHE Wiki at http://wiki.ihe.net.

This lecture will provide an overview of the activities of IHE-RO and how this initiative has helped the Radiation Oncology community to solve the interoperability issues of the clinic.

Learning Objectives:
1.Understand the history of IHE-RO and the need behind it.
2.Review current IHE-RO Profiles & user cases and how they help solve interoperability issues in the clinic.
3.Understand the future direction of IHE-RO and how you can contribute to its success.


Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: Partial funding from ASTRO

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