Architectural Principles

Guiding principles that inform the OpenHIE decision-making process.


OpenHIE preferentially seeks to leverage consensus-based, international interoperability specifications that support countries' health information exchange needs. We are committed to engaging in the IHE interoperability specification development process. To the extent possible we will leverage the IHE process to identify, evaluate and implement pre-existing IHE specifications and will also advocate for the development of future solutions.

Adaptable / Implementable

Because health information exchange functional requirements vary among countries and evolve over time, we recognize that existing standards and interoperability specifications may not fully support a country's HIE needs. Consequently, OpenHIE seeks an architecture that supports -- does not on necessarily constrain -- effective implementation of country-driven workflows that extend beyond current interoperability specifications. To the extent possible, we anticipate that such workflow extensions would be incorporated into future consensus-based standardized interoperability specifications. (It has alternatively been suggested we call this principle "user driven". We seek to make architectural decisions based on implementations expressed needs and choose standards that best support the HIE user's needs.)

Interchangeability / Swappable

OpenHIE seeks to support a robust and diverse software component ecosystem where implementing and support organizations may leverage different software products for the OpenHIE components. To enable effective and efficient "swap-ability" of components, we seek an architecture that clearly defines and reinforces standardized interfaces for each of these components. We seek to ensure that the reference components of OpenHIE support standardized interfaces.

Additional Principles

The following additional principles have been suggested: Performant / Scalable; "Monitor-able" / "Surveil-able" / "Inspect-able" / Observable / "Audit-able" have been suggested.

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