A framework based on real-world application.

Our standards and best practice recommendations work together to form a foundation for comprehensive health information exchange systems.

  • Standards-Based

    Standards-Based

    We adopt best practices and influence international health information sharing standards to keep our recommendations up-to-date.

  • Implementable

    Implementable

    The OpenHIE Architecture provides patterns that can be used as foundations to support complex, interoperable systems for information exchange.

  • Modular

    Modular

    Our architecture recommendations are not one-size-fits-all. The components are modular to make the system work for your community’s needs.

The Architecture

A Health Information Exchange (HIE) makes sharing health data across information systems possible. It enables data to be shared between databases, facilities, and across regions or countries.

OpenHIE’s Architecture is made up of patterns that ensure that health information from various external systems is gathered into a single, unified HIE. To accomplish this, the exchange normalizes the context in which health information is used by focusing on the “for whom”, ”by whom”, “where”, and “what” of a patient’s health visit, bringing relevant information through a layer of interoperability and directly to the point of service. Additionally, OpenHIE also integrates medical supply data. This supports enhanced decision-making, improves the quality, safety, and continuity of care, and facilitates the appropriate use of information to improve health in a population.

| Layer 1 |
Architecture Components

Business Domain Services & Registry Services

The first layer of the architecture consists of business domain services and registry services. Business domain components are designed to support specific health system business domains and would have the potential to combine data from multiple point-of-service and point-of-care systems. Registry services are designed to uniquely identify and track unique patients, facilities, healthcare products and terminology that are used throughout the health information exchange.

See Components
Business Domain Services
  • 45
    Logistics Management System
    Logistics Management System
  • 46
    Shared Health Records
    Shared Health Records
  • 47
    Health Management Information System
    Health Management Information System
  • 48
    Finance and Insurance Service
    Finance and Insurance Service
Registry Services
  • 49
    Terminology Services
    Terminology Services
  • 50
    Client Registry
    Client Registry
  • 51
    Facility Registry
    Facility Registry
  • 52
    Health Worker Registry
    Health Worker Registry
  • 53
    Product Catalogue
    Product Catalogue
| Layer 2 |
Interoperability Layer

Interoperability Services Layer

The second layer of the architecture acts as a gateway between the business domain and registry services and the points of service, keeping data secure and consistent.

| Layer 3 |
Point of Service

Point of Service Layer

Points of service , including those such as OpenMRS electronic medical records (EMR) system and the RapidSMS mHealth application, are used by clinicians and by community health workers to access and update a patient’s person-centric shared health information and to record healthcare transactions.

See Points of Service
Points of Service
  • 54
    Mobile System
    Mobile System
  • 55
    Electronic Medical Record
    Electronic Medical Record
  • 47
    Health Management Information System
    Health Management Information System
  • 56
    Lab System
    Lab System
  • 57
    Pharmacy System
    Pharmacy System
  • 45
    Logistics Management System
    Logistics Management System
  • 48
    Finance and Insurance Service
    Finance and Insurance Service

Updated September 2020

This specification documents the OpenHIE components as well as the requirements for each component. In addition, the specification documents the OpenHIE workflows (data exchanges) and the underlying standards that support the workflows. This is a living document created by the OpenHIE Community and based upon real-world implementations and needs. You are encouraged to provide comments, proposed edits, and other suggestions for future versions on our Discourse forum site. If you have questions or need help unrelated to this guide, please contact us. The most significant changes you can find in the 3.0 PDF version of the OpenHIE Architecture Specification include:
  • OpenHIE Workflow (Data Exchange) Maturity Level This maturity level takes into account the maturity of underlying IHE / FHIR specifications and the use of the workflow pattern in implementations.
  • Laboratory Workflows Data exchanges revolving around laboratory information have been added to the specification.
  • The Facility Registry Requirements The requirements for the key features of a facility registry were updated.
  • Terminology Workflow Updates The terminology workflows were updated to include IHE specification.
Previous Specification Versions Previous releases of the specification document can be found on this page of the OpenHIE Wiki.

OHIE In Action

Take a look at how the OpenHIE Community is helping to solve health problems and improve outcomes for resource emerging communities across the globe.