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Reseau d'Information et de Communication Hospitalier Europeen


The mission of RICHE is to construct a framework for open information and communication systems for health care in Europe, and to demonstrate the feasibility of this evolutionary approach. RICHE, which started as an ESPRIT project, has now evolved into an open initiative for pre-competitive collaboration with any user or industrial European organisation subscribing to its mission and objectives.
A unified Europe requires a common framework for the acquisition, processing, storage, retrieval and exchange of data for health care. This framework needs to be developed on the basis of a comprehensive set of internationally accepted standards and agreed rules for data protection. Such a framework would open up a large market for European technology by establishing requirements in terms of appropriateness, functionality and standard interfaces. The purpose of Reseau d'Information et de Communication Hospitalier Europeen (RICHE) is to evaluate, to anticipate and to integrate the different technological advances and results derived from ESPRIT (and other research and development programmes), and from the market, in order to exploit their potential within the health care domain.

The reseau d'information et de communication hospitalier Europeen (RICHE) project's mission was to construct a framework for open information and communication systems for health care in Europe, and to demonstrate the feasibility of this evolutionary approach.

The RICHE framework reference architecture provides the common basis for the construction of open hospital information systems. The open, modular approach adopted allows hospitals to build systems in accordance with their local requirements applying the same proven methodology and European standards. The emergence of such open systems in the hospital sector may lead to a revolution in the information technology (IT) health marketplace. The advantages are vendor independence, flexibility, availability and cost effectiveness.

The central part of RICHE is the innovative cooperative act management system. This allows physicians and nurses to automatically arrange for and report on all activities required within the hospital with respect to patient care. At the same time it offers the kind of data managers need to control the overall performance of hospital activities. This act management system is equipped with knowledge base and can provide (at this stage) both numerical information and text. Medical and nursing care information systems will complete the nucleus of the RICHE based sytem.

A further important outcome of RICHE is that what originally started as a project with a defined scope and duration has now evolved into a long term initiative with a wide range of possible follow up activities. A Stinchting Groupe RICHE has been set up in the Netherlands to further develp, enhance and maintain the RICHE framework architecture, publish its standards, give advice and assist in training.
The general objectives of RICHE are to develop and advance:

- a modular European reference architecture and a global set of models for overall open information and communication systems for hospitals in their local environment, that show the relationships and interfaces between the various parts of the architecture
- detailed architecture and models for selected hospital functions in line with the overall framework reference architecture
- an intelligent co-operative act management system, supported by advance knowledge editing and management tools, capable of being used throughout the hospital information system
- standards for federation and integration of existing and emerging functional system modules, and for the exchange of data between such modules and the kernel distributed hospital environment
- an increasing set of references to practical implementation systems and projects, and development and industrialisation activities, capable of demonstrating the feasibility of the reference architecture and its models
- criteria to assess and decide conformance of products and systems with the characteristics of the RICHE framework.


194 Avenue Rubillard
72037 Le Mans

Participants (10)

Rijnsburgerweg 10
2333 AA Leiden
Bull SA
Tour Bull 1 Place Carpeaux
92800 Puteaux
Gestione Sistemi per l'Informatica Srl
Via Rodi 32
00195 Roma
Blackrock Clinic,blackrock
Co Dublin
Institut International de Robotique et d'Intelligence Artificielle de Marseille
2 Rue Henri Barbusse
13241 Marseille
International Computers Ltd (ICL)
United Kingdom
Icl House 1 High Street Putney
SW15 1SW London
Lombardia Informatica SpA
Via Frigia 27
20126 Milano
National Health Service Management Executive (NHS)
United Kingdom
19 Calthorpe Road Edgbaston
B15 1RP Birmingham
Maliebaan 50, 14066
3508 SC Utrecht
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
Largo Agostino Gemelli 8
00168 Roma