Sign up now for ease of access to The Medical Independent, Ireland’s most frequently published medical newspaper, delivering award-winning news and investigative reporting.

  • receive the eCopy two days prior to the printed edition.
  • can partake in our online MCQs.
  • can enter our online sports quiz.


Medicalindependent.ie is Ireland's only investigative medical news website for doctors, healthcare professionals and anyone with an interest in health issues.

Established in 2010, along with its sister publication The Medical Independent, our stated aim is to investigate and analyse the major issues affecting healthcare and the medical profession in Ireland. The Medical Independent has won a number of awards for its investigative journalism, and its stories are frequently picked up by national digital, broadcast and print media. The Medical Independent is published by GreenCross Publishing.

Address: Top Floor, 111 Rathmines Road Lr, Dublin 6

Tel: 353 (01) 441 0024

GreenCross Publishing is owned by Graham Cooke.

HSE decides against trialled WhatsApp-type service

By Mindo - 11th Oct 2018 | 19 views

“The HSE has been testing an encrypted communications software product, which is available on a general public licence (free licence),” an Executive spokesperson told the <strong><em>Medical Independent</em></strong> (<strong><em>MI</em></strong>).

“The product is similar to WhatsApp; however messages, pictures, etc, are fully encrypted end-to-end and messages are not readable by anyone, including the vendor.”

In April, <strong><em>MI</em></strong> reported on evidence of widespread use of WhatsApp groups by doctors across Ireland.

The OoCIO has “bottomed-out the testing and are not proceeding with the option in question”, according to the HSE.

However, the Executive is now moving forward with a tender to provide a messaging service for staff.

“A sanction request has since been submitted to DPER [Department of Public Expenditure and Reform] to seek approval to proceed with a tender and we are awaiting a response.”

This newspaper reported in April that the HSE was considering developing a tender to introduce its own messaging service.

The Executive said it was working on a tender that would seek a solution that allows healthcare organisations to meet their data protection and confidentiality obligations.

The HSE previously informed <strong><em>MI</em></strong> that it was aware of the widespread use of WhatsApp groups by doctors across the Irish health system. The Executive has data protection and privacy concerns regarding the current use of such software by doctors.

The Executive’s current security policy recommends no transmission of patient data through software like WhatsApp.

Speaking in April, Specialist Registrar in Neurosurgery and former IMO President Dr John Duddy said the use of WhatsApp groups was “ubiquitous among NCHDs”.

“I’d say every team or rota group around the country has one,” said Dr Duddy.

“While WhatsApp is encrypted, it is clear that none of these publicly-available social media platforms are completely secure. Secure healthcare messaging apps are widely used in the US and there’s no reason why the new HSE CIO couldn’t introduce one of these to the Irish health service.”

Leave a Reply

Latest
Latest Issue
medical news
The Medical Independent 19th May 2022

You need to be logged in to access this content. Please login or sign up using the links below.

Most Read