Platform strategy for hospitals:

Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) and the clinical workplace system


Barmherzige Brüder Trier (BBT) has launched an innovation process to meet future nursing needs from the perspective of demographics and the trend of an increasingly more digitized society. Realizing supportive, consistent, and cooperative processes using digital possibilities is a key objective. In the administration of medical data, that means linking systems using international standards and profiles such as Health Level 7 (HL7) and IHE. This results in complex market research, contract specifications, and negotiations with bidders. Whether the systems actually meet the requirements also has to be established in the end. Digitization is an element of the innovation process that has been initiated in the BBT Group.


The challenge

The consistency of data flows can only be realized when IT systems, both on the front end and the back end, can work together seamlessly and user requirements for the system components have been taken into account. With a monolithic infrastructure tied to the hospital information system, the latter in particular is a challenge. Whether best-of-suite or best-of-breed, the ability to attain data sovereignty and the loose coupling of system components are essential. This is where international profiles and standards play a crucial role, especially IHE.


Our contribution

Fraunhofer ISST is assisting the process with its extensive experience in the implementation of IHE-based infrastructures. ISST assists IT manufacturers in the healthcare sector in complying with interoperability requirements every year in the course of the IHE Connectathon. The institute is contributing this knowledge to the cooperative project::

  • Strategic assistance with the introduction and implementation of the digitization strategy
  • Preparation of contract specifications (e.g. for IHE-capable components)
  • Assistance with supplier evaluation
  • Concept support and concept preparation for IHE platforms
  • Performance of IHE acceptance tests



The work of Fraunhofer ISST helps with the establishment and implementation of the digital platform strategy defined by the BBT Group. This includes providing market research and comparing suppliers based on established criteria.



  • BBT Gruppe



  • Term: 2017 – 2019