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HIQA launches public consultation on electronic patient summary

HIQA has commenced a national public consultation on its Draft Recommendations on the Implementation of a National Electronic Patient Summary.

HIQA has found that a national electronic patient summary will improve the safety and quality of care a patient receives when they receive unscheduled care. The implementation of a national electronic summary care record is also listed as a priority in the Sláintecare Implementation Strategy, and is considered to be a crucial element of Ireland’s national eHealth policy. Its implementation would support information sharing, patient empowerment and the development of digital services.  

Based on an analysis of Ireland’s current model, expert advice and a review of international best practice, HIQA has developed 15 draft recommendations for the Minister for Health on how national electronic patient summaries should be successfully implemented. HIQA is now asking the public for their feedback.

Dr Kevin O’Carroll, HIQA’s Technical Standards Manager, said: “This consultation is a key milestone in preparing Ireland for national electronic patient summaries. Electronic patient summaries have the potential to make healthcare delivery safer and more effective by ensuring healthcare professionals have access to a patient’s information, such as medical history and prescribed medications, at the point of care. This is essential in an emergency or unscheduled health visit when a patient may be unconscious or unable to remember their healthcare information.

“Feedback from stakeholders on how to implement a patient summary is vital and important to this programme’s success. We are asking the public for their input on our recommendations, and look forward to hearing from professionals, organisations, and the general public, in particular patients and their carers. The consultation will ask people to consider what governance structures should be in place to provide oversight, and how patient and public representation can be built into that structure among other key issues.”

Today, HIQA also published a Best Practice Review of the Implementation of Summary Care Records and Summary Care Records: An As Is Analysis of the Irish Landscape to assist with the future implementation of these records in Ireland.

HIQA invites members of the public to provide feedback on the draft recommendations to the Minister before the deadline for submissions at 5pm on Friday, 11 September 2020.

For more information on the draft guidance and the consultation, including how to make a submission, visit www.hiqa.ie.

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