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Apr 07

Ireland – €875m on EHR

Ireland

Ireland is to spend up to €875m rolling out a national electronic health record system (EHR) that will enable patient information to be instantly accessed by approved medical personnel as reported by the irishexaminer last month.  The EHR’s capital costs will be between €345m and €467m over five years, with operating costs of between €302m and €408m. This year eHealth Ireland opened up a public consultation exercise on Electronic Health Records for Ireland. The business case for the EHR has now been drafted and is heading to the governance process for review and ultimately approval.

 

3 major capabilities that the business case is looking to support

  • The ability to integrate clinically specific systems.
  • The ability for a clinician to have a view of disparate systems where they have a legitimate relationship to do so.
  • The delivery of an Electronic Health Record (EHR) to the whole health system throughout Ireland. As mentioned above, public consultation has completed and a business case has been drafted. The first full EHR implementation will be the National Children Hospital. With integration between systems and the implementation of portal technology as early as the middle of 2017.

3 major issues that Ireland will be facing and are addressing to make this happen

  • Clinical engagement. A group has been established and is in place before the delivery begins. They are hoping the council, which is now 150 strong, can influence the entire direction of the EHR development and delivery ensuring that the success criteria for implementation comes from health delivery and not technology delivery.
  • Patients in control of their information. This means not only allowing clinicians to access shared information but allowing the patient to make use of the information to stay well and healthy.
  • Integration – there are over 1000 disparate information systems across the Ireland-South healthcare landscape, so it is coming from a very fragmented base.

Their eHealth Strategy includes case studies from other nations including: England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Australia and Canada. It is great to see that Ireland is learning from its own experience in eHealth and the lessons from others around the world. I believe the focus on the Clinical Engagement, public consultation and ensuring that the system is viable financial will provide a sound basis as they move forward.

This is definitely a space to watch with implementations as early as 2017.

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