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Electronic health record sought for children’s hospital

Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) has announced plans to introduce a single acute electronic health record (EHR) for the new national children’s hospital.

A market engagement seminar will take place before CHI’s Children’s Health Programme initiates the official procurement process. The EHR project is intended to allow the sharing of patient data across the national children’s hospital and the paediatric outpatients and urgent care centres at Connolly Hospital and Tallaght University Hospital, both in Dublin.

The market engagement seminar will provide potential suppliers with an overview of CHI and its objectives and also provide them with an overview of the method under which EHR will run.

The engagement process will seek suppliers’ views on possible models for delivering this service. Following the seminar, attendees will be able to submit their opinions and observations on the matter in writing to CHI.

Tender documents outline that ICT and automation are to form a large part of the new national children’s hospital’s functionality and an integrated EHR system will be necessary to “fulfil the vision of a ‘digitised hospital’”. Across CHI service locations, shared ICT applications will allow care to be delivered at “the most suitable location with information available at the required point of care”, according to CHI.

“The scope of the CHI EHR project will include operational systems and the solutions needed to ensure sharing of electronic patient data across CHI paediatric services in Dublin,” the tender documents state.

Tallaght outpatient and urgent care centre and the new children’s hospital are currently being constructed and will be equipped with ICT infrastructure (phones, networks, servers, PCs, etc) and suitable applications to facilitate completion of the build, commissioning of the sites, and the provision of care once commissioned. ICT infrastructure will be part of a separate procurement.

The introduction of a national EHR has been beset by delays.

In May 2016 a business case for an EHR was approved by HSE leadership and is under consideration by the Department of Health in the context of the Programme for Government.

“The proposed initiation of a national electronic health record programme for the wider health service, covering both community and hospital services, will be the subject of a separate procurement process and is not in the scope of this process,” according to tender documents. However, the tender documents also state it is important that “there is interoperability between the CHI EHR, national EHR, and the proposed national solutions”.

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