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The HSE will go to tender for a waiting list management system in the next two-to-three months, the Medical Independent (MI) can report.
Last year, MI reported on research that revealed hospital waiting lists could be largely eradicated within two years through the introduction of the e-booking system, Sorsix Pinga.
The system has been successfully rolled out in Macedonia and Serbia.
However, the HSE group examining the issue has still not completed its work, HSE National Director, Chief Operations, Mr Liam Woods told MI.
“We have a group looking at the best digital options to support the effective delivery of service and therefore waiting list management and patient flow,” stated Mr Woods.
“That group is working at the moment; it will probably take another two or three months to come to conclusion. So systems like the Pinga system will ultimately be systems that we will go to the market [for] and acquire.”
Some of the HSE’s existing patient administration systems have waiting list management capacity, which is not currently being fully utilised, he added.
“We also need to make sure we are getting the best out of what we have,” said Mr Woods.
“So yes, it is something we will go to the market for, but … we already have some quite strong technology solutions already in place in the hospitals and we will need to make sure we are getting the best out of those.
“Because typically, computer systems, across the planet, never mind in health, are delivering 50 per cent, or are using 50/60 per cent of their true capacity. And we need to make sure we are getting the best value from what we currently have and then support that with any additional capacity we need.”
The biggest “challenge” regarding waiting lists was in outpatients, admitted Mr Woods. Reducing outpatient waiting lists depended on strengthening links between consultants and GPs, as well as providing diagnostics in the community or separate diagnostics in hospitals to support community-delivered services, he said.
“If we can do that, we will actually address the outpatient demand that currently sits on waiting lists in hospitals. So it is about a bit of investment, but it is also where we have models of care coming through our various specialists.”