HSE Press Release: eHealth Ireland – website launched and committee announcement

Wednesday 17th June, 2015

eHealth Ireland – website launched and committee announcement

  • is the website where you will find information about the ongoing work in relation to the delivery of eHealth Information about the eHealth Ireland Committee
  • Details of the Clinical Information Officers Council
  • Progress on the delivery of the IHI
  • Progress on the eReferral programme
  • Case Studies of what has been delivered in the last six months

The HSE today launched its eHealth Ireland website This site has been developed by the Office of the Chief Information Officer within the HSE. The information provided within the content of the site marks a milestone for the creation of the eHealth Ireland capacity. The team have set specific targets and goals for delivery of eHealth and this site will be transparent about these targets and achievements.

The aim of the website is to put in place a common platform that will enable a unified understanding of the plans for implementing eHealth. Technology enablement plays a fundamental role in delivering better patient care outcomes, it acts as a catalyst that will, through enhanced clinical knowledge and timely access to the right knowledge and information help create a world class health care system for Ireland.

On the site you will find information on the following:

  • Knowledge and Information Plan – a roadmap for Ireland for the next 5 years at a high level, the operating model for this delivery and the benefits map against care delivery areas
  • Strategic Programmes – Individual Health Identifier, eReferral, Primary Care IT, Cancer IT, National Children’s Hospital, Electronic Health Record and the newly created Open Data for Health Programme.
  • Clinical Engagement – Clinical Information Officers Council and details of how clinicians are engaged with the programme
  • Case studies of successful eHealth projects in Ireland
  • The eHealth Ireland Committee –members and terms of reference

Richard Corbridge, Chief Information Officer, HSE said “ the delivery of eHeatlh to Ireland means digital transformation. This evolvement will enable commonly shared capabilities and access to information throughout health and removes silos of information that exist today. It will ensure that excellence is shared – not piloted in obscurity, but enabled and encouraged to realise benefits to patients. eHealth is an important enabler to the sharing and protecting of information, where sharing is critical for the delivery of patient safety and care but is controlled by the patient in consultation with the healthcare professional who has a legitimate relationship with the patient.”

Eilish Hardiman, Chief Executive of the Children’s Hospital group indicated the importance of the plan to her area of responsibility, “The Knowledge and Information Plan fully embodies the service vision for the new children’s hospital. It is about putting our children and their families at the heart of everything we do and enabling our staff to have easy access to meaningful information and shared knowledge to provide safe, compassionate high quality care and treatment to patients and to drive effective management and governance of services to improve health and wellbeing. The new children’s hospital will be a Digital Hospital, this plan fully supports this vision and I welcome its publication.”

Prof Frank Murray, President of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, welcomed the new HSE knowledge and information plan as an important initiative to improve patient care.  He said the “Using technology in this way can  greatly improve patient safety which is always our priority. Having easy access to the correct patient information at the right time will help to better inform doctors about the right course of treatment and care for each individual.  This could ultimately allow doctors to spend more time with patients and give the patients themselves greater participation in their care.”

Professor Mark WJ Ferguson Director General Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland and chair of the eHealth Ireland Committee said, “eHealth has many positive benefits for patients, doctors, health care professionals and systems. It also offers potential for the creation of new businesses and employment as well as for enhanced research into the prevention and treatment of diseases. I look forward to working with this committee of international and national experts from diverse and complimentary backgrounds, whose knowledge and experience will be focussed on assisting the HSE to implement the best eHealth system in Ireland.”

Jim Breslin, Secretary General for the Department of Health indicated the significance of the plan being published, by saying “the potential of digital technologies to transform service delivery is widely recognised in private and public sectors across the world. Within healthcare environments progress in adopting such systems has not been as great as might initially have been expected, mainly due to the complexity of health care delivery itself. But the best health care systems are now using eHealth technologies to put patients and their information at the centre of health service delivery; supporting new care models, enhancing quality, promoting population health and achieving greater efficiency.

In Ireland we have done important foundational work – such as publishing an eHealth Strategy for Ireland in 2013 and enacting the Health Identifiers Act in 2014 – but much more needs to be done. eHealth will play a critical enabling role in health care reforms including financial reform, the formation of hospital groups and the service reforms that will underpin community based care models. We are also looking forward to the development of our first digital hospital when the new National Children’s Hospital opens at the end of the decade using electronic health records and providing a digital health care environment for the children of Ireland.   The Knowledge and Information plan provides a roadmap for what we need to do to develop our digital capability in Irish health care by providing a clear set of principles and identifying the key capability requirements and technology architecture.  Publishing the Knowledge & Information plan is another very important step on the digital journey.”

Rachel Flynn interim director of Information services at HIQA said, ‘Standards for eHealth promote the efficient and secure collection, use and sharing of health information. Through the development of standards the Authority will work with the Executive to deliver the vision of ‘Better data, Better decisions’which results in safer and better care”. She went on to say that “in order to deliver safe, effective and person centered care, a culture of using information and knowledge is necessary at every level of an organisation.  If emphasis is not place on using information how can services assure themselves they are safe, effective and person centred. eHealth is all about building capacity and capability within our health and social care system in order to use information and deliver high quality and safe services. HIQA welcomes the Knowledge and Information plan as a foundational step to creating a health system supported by technology and information”.

The focus of the web site in 2015 is to communicate to health service providers, vendors and other interested parties. For more information on the work of the Office of the Chief Information Officer please use the following twitter hash tags: #eHealthIreland; #eHealth4all , where eHealth Ireland will have transparent conversations about the plans for eHealth delivery.