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Final decision awaited on digital structure in health regions

By David Lynch - 05th Nov 2023


The final organisational structure of digital teams for the six new health regions has yet to be signed-off, this newspaper understands.

The structure of digital teams within the six regions was queried by the HSE’s technology and transformation committee at its June meeting. Committee members were told that it had yet to be finalised.

“The committee emphasised that a robust governance structure should be in place… to ensure nationwide consistency with the implementation of digital health strategy and that a party responsible for ensuring compliance is required,” according to meeting minutes.

A HSE spokesperson confirmed to the Medical Independent (MI) that the regional digital teams “have not been finalised or signed-off yet”.

“This will not be finalised until the regional executive officers are in place and a structure is agreed.”

At the same HSE meeting in June, committee members were provided with an update on the implementation of the HSE shared care record (SCR).

“The committee queried whether there will be a universal rollout of any one system and whether this would impact services which already have a form of electronic healthcare record, eg, Children’s Health Ireland and GP services.”

Mr John Ward, HSE Interim Chief Technology Transformation Officer, advised committee members that the Executive is “seeking a product which will allow different types of records to be viewable on the same system”.

The public procurement for this product “is underway currently”, the HSE’s spokesperson told MI. The spokesperson added that the procurement should be complete by the third quarter of 2024. It is anticipated that rollout will commence in 2025, with the initial version of the SCR expected to “go live” in early 2026. The SCR has two components – a shared care record and summary care record. A summary care record is a digital snapshot of a patient’s essential clinical information including medications and allergies available to healthcare professionals. A shared care record is a digital record aggregated from various electronic data sources that provides a holistic view of a patient’s health status across healthcare settings. It can contain information about a patient’s diagnoses, test results, procedures, care plans, and more.

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