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Data sharing ‘challenges’ with voluntary hospitals over new HSE app

By David Lynch - 12th May 2024

data sharing concept

Voluntary hospitals are not yet involved in the development of a new HSE patient app due to “challenges” around data sharing, heard a meeting earlier this year.

Asked about current engagement with voluntary hospitals on the initiative, a HSE spokesperson told the Medical Independent (MI): “The HSE is working with colleagues across the health service, including the voluntary hospitals, to explore how to deliver the best experience to patients and provide access to their health information.”

A meeting of the HSE’s technology and transformation committee in January was updated on progress on the new app by the interim Chief Information Security Officer and interim Chief Technology and Transformation Officer (CTTO).

Members were advised that “significant work is underway” on the app, using the “skills and lessons” learned during development of the Covid tracker app.

However, committee members queried the extent to which voluntary hospitals were engaged with the project.

“The CTTO [Mr John Ward] confirmed that they are not involved at this stage as there are challenges around data sharing, but this should be addressed over the next few years.”

An Executive spokesperson told MI that the new app will “give people a simple and secure way” to access their health information and a range of HSE services.

The spokesperson said the first version of the app would be available to the public at the end of this year and will focus on hospital appointments in maternity services.

Prior to roll-out, a pilot will be established in the second quarter of 2024 to test the app with patients.

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