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HSE is ‘working on’ connecting maternity EHR with general practice

The system went live at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) in December and is due to be rolled out to a further 18 maternity units nationwide by the end of this year.

It allows for the creation of an electronic health record (EHR) for pregnant women and babies nationwide.

However, some GPs have expressed concern that the system has yet to be joined-up digitally with GP software systems.

Co Kerry GP Dr Eamonn Shanahan outlined that GPs feared they would be forced into doing extra work by having to enter data onto the new system.

He said this would be “completely unacceptable”, outlining that GPs in the region felt they were being informed but not involved in its development.

In a statement to MI, the HSE said meetings had taken place with GPs and that an interim solution, with data entered by the GP onto the new system, was currently in place pending implementation of a long-term solution.

“Under the shared care model, patients attend their GP for every other visit. The GP reviews details from the previous hospital visit, examines the patient, then records observations, measurements and updated risk factors on their GP practice system. They also update the shared care card that accompanies the patient so the hospital gets visibility of this detail when the patient attends for their next visit. Data from the GP needs to be entered onto MN-CMS,” according to the HSE.

The interim measure will continue in Cork while a solution utilising Healthlink is being developed. It will be in place during the first quarter of 2017, stated the HSE. 

Healthlink allows electronic patient information to be securely sent between GPs and hospitals and will alleviate the burden on GPs of having to enter data onto the new system, it is understood. 

“Work has already commenced on the development of electronic messaging between MN-CMS and GPs, starting with discharge summaries via structured messages.  We expect to make good progress in the next few months on delivery of the new electronic messaging approach with GPs, which will be more efficient for everyone,” the HSE outlined.

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