Retrieve ECG for Display

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This integration profile provides access throughout the enterprise to electrocardiogram (ECG) documents for review purposes


Clinicians need a simple means to access and view electrocardiograms (ECGs) from anywhere within and beyond the hospital enterprise. The ECGs should consist of “diagnostic quality” waveforms, measurements, and interpretations. The primary goal is to retrieve resting 12- lead ECGs, but retrieving ECG waveforms gathered during stress, Holter, and other diagnostic tests is also desirable. Typically, these ECGs are already stored in an ECG management system. The focus of this Profile is on retrieval and display, not the process of ordering, acquiring, storing, interpreting, or analyzing the ECGs.



IHE provides benefits to clinicians and administrative staff focusing on patient care and reducing inefficiencies, specifically:

  • Make ECG viewing available in many locations, increasing the access to the ECG information
  • Simplify and standardize the ECG access and viewing process
  • Remove the need to “find the printed ECG” (lost on a piece of paper or moving to a special ECG-only workstation)
  • Allow multiple clinicians to view the ECG simultaneously for real-time conferencing
  • Provide diagnostic display resolution
  • Allow clinicians to view ECGs from outside of the physical hospital walls (in coordination with hospital security policies)
  • Reduce the need for duplicate procedures
  • Ensure that a multi-vendor environment will function correctly
  • Manage and simplify the purchasing process
  • Reduce “switching costs” when a new system is purchased
  • Select the “best solutions” from multiple vendors and reduce vendor integration issues rather than restriction to a single vendor allencompassing solution


There are several scenarios in a hospital, in which a cardiologist needs to retrieve and review ECG data (eg in preparation of a cath procedure or in order to compare a previous ECG with a recent one). Historically this happened by calling up the paper based record.

This profile describes the selection, retrieval and display of ECG data in order to allow review of ECGs for a given patient on the same display system the cardiologist is working on using the same patient context providing all relevant information about the ECG (Patient ID and Name, Recording time and date, report status, labeling of leads, voltage and timescale per lead, frequency, aspect ratio, ...). The display system could either be an EHR system, a cath or echo workstation, a CVIS or a web based display application. The user can simply retrieve the information from the information source, eg the ECG Managment and archiving system.

Systems Affected

The key Actors in ECG Display and examples of real-world products which might implement these roles are:

  • Display – Electronic Healthcare Record, Echo or Cath Imaging Viewing workstation, Cardiology Information System, any simple web application which understands how query the Information Source
  • Information Source – ECG Management and Archiving System

Actors & Transactions:



Profile Status: Final Text


IHE Cardiology Technical Framework:

  • Vol. 1 - Section 6 (ECG Profile)
  • Vol. 2 - Sections 4.5 and 4.6

Underlying Standards:

See Also

Related Profiles Retrieve Information for Display

Consumer Information

Implementer Information

Reference Articles

This page is based on the Profile Template