Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium (CDISC)
CDISC is one of the popular SDOs out there. The organization has established open global standards to aid the collection, exchange, submission/reporting and documentation of medical data. CDISC is aimed at developing platform-independent data standards to ensure information system interoperability for the improvement of medical research and other healthcare-related areas. In 2001, CDISC and HL7 entered into a Charter Agreement to harmonize healthcare standards and clinical research.
European Committee for Standardization/Technical Committee 251 (CEN/TC 251)
CEN/TC 251 is a European based (regional) SDO between international or specific domain SDOs, whose focus is almost exclusively on content technology, not communication technology. The organization encourages interested parties to have interoperable and enforceable standards for secure and reliable information exchange. CEN/TC 251’s focuses on the application of information and communication technology in healthcare, social care and wellness.
CEN/TC 251 work items are prioritized to meet European Union (EU)/European Commission (EC) requirements. This is meant to support work in the Member States in need of approval to meet the requirements of other SDOs and to provide updates and revisions of existing CEN/TC 251 standards, specifications and reports. In 2007, the EC issued a mandate to European Standardization Organizations (ESO), CEN, European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) and European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), to develop a coordinated work program for health informatics standardization (Mandate M/403).
Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM)
DICOM is an international standard for biomedical imaging and related data. DICOM represents a collection of network services that are meant for transfer, storage and access to images. DICOM defines products of image analysis applications, as well as services for imaging department workflow management. DICOM is used in all radiology and cardiology imaging devices and systems and other fields of health imaging, such as dentistry, ophthalmology, and pathology.
Health Level-7 (HL7)
HL7 is an international SDO that comprises healthcare experts and information scientists. They work together to develop accredited standards for the exchange, administration and integration of electronic healthcare information. HL7 created a family set of standards in the mid-1990s following a common Reference Information Model (HL7 RIM). The RIM standards include exchanging of information and support inter-system cooperative processing via messages, electronic documents and services.
A terminology developed and maintained by other standards organizations such as International Health Terminology Standards Development Organization (IHTSDO), World Health Organization (WHO) and others encode the most data elements exchanged by HL7. Moreover, HL7 partners with many other international and local standards groups that focus on information domains different from the HL7 domain.
Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE)
IHE was established by healthcare professionals and other industry experts with the goal to improve healthcare information systems. IHE encourages the use of established standards in a coordinated manner. Such standards include DICOM and HL7 and address detailed clinical needs in support of the best patient care.
Systems standards developed in line with IHE specifications communicate better with one another, are implemented more easily and allow carers to make use of the information more effectively.
International Health Terminology Standards Development Organization (IHTSDO)
IHTSDO was established in 2007 as a Danish non-profit association by nine charter members (Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Lithuania, and the United States). They purchased Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine – Clinical Terms (SNOMED CT) from the College of American Pathologists (CAP) in April 2007, which currently handles its maintenance, development, quality assurance, and distribution. The major aim of changing ownership was hinged on promoting international adoption and the use of SNOMED CT.
In June 2009, Singapore, Cyprus and Spain became members and other nations are working to become members as well. Recently, IHTSDO announced the availability of free SNOMED CT licenses in 49 other countries designated as low-income economies.
International Standards Organization Technical Committee 215 (ISO TC 215) on Health Informatics
ISO TC 215 on Health Informatics was established in 1998. Its formation came after ten years of progressive cooperation among international health informatics standards organizations. The parent ISO organization, situated in Geneva, is recognized by law in many countries as a non-governmental organization.
TC 215 is organized into four major Working Groups: