A national Electronic Health Record (EHR) has been identified by HSE National Directors and clinical leaders as a key capability requirement for the future delivery Ireland-Map-Colourof healthcare. While technology solutions are a key component, there will be a primary focus on how clinicians and administrative staff work with this technology in a way that closely aligns with and underpins the ambition for Integrated Care and other national healthcare reform priorities. The national EHR programme represents a significant transformation in the use of technology and data to underpin effective and efficient care. This document acts as a foundation document for the definition of the national EHR Programme and for subsequent strategies, plans and business cases once the overall roadmap is defined.

ICT within healthcare reform

ICT will be an increasingly critical element in healthcare reform. Ireland is set on an ambitious journey in the reform of healthcare in recognition of the need to radically transform healthcare provision to meet the challenge of delivering sustainable high quality care for the entire population. Information and knowledge are a core asset of our health systems and the creation and use of this asset in an effective manner is critical to improving performance across the system. The ability to record and share key information on patients’ and service users’ interaction across organisations and care settings is a key component of eHealth and will provide benefits to patients, service users, carers, health and social care professionals and wider stakeholders in the health system. The programme aims to exploit the capability of ICT to be more consistent in our delivery of safer, better and increasingly, personalised care.

EHR as cornerstone of eHealth Strategy

An EHR for Ireland is the cornerstone of the eHealth Strategy. A national EHR is a comprehensive and combined solution that supports the creation and sharing of key patient information. The national EHR will consist of core operational solutions (with functions such as ePrescribing and Case Management), along with the ability to aggregate data from these systems into a comprehensive national record, accessible to health and social care professionals, and also to patients, service users and carers. The opportunity afforded by a national EHR is to create a future environment that is information rich, supporting improvements in care, and making a step change in the availability of patient information across the various organisations within the remit of the HSE. As part of the Knowledge and Information Strategy of the Office of the CIO, the national EHR has been identified as a core capability.
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