New Patient Records System Can Benefit Every Person in Northern Ireland

Orion HealthNorthern Ireland Health Minister Edwin Poots led the speeches at the launch of Northern Ireland's first Electronic Care Record (NIECR) system, just one year after its contract was signed with e-Health software provider Orion Health.

Poots said: "The NIECR gives our doctors and nurses a window into all the important health and care information that they need to provide the best care for a patient. They will be able to look at information currently held in a multitude of different systems across the Northern Ireland Health and Social Care (HSC) sector, to see details of past or ongoing diagnoses and investigations or treatments. This will enable better, safer, faster care and treatment for everyone whose care team uses the system."

The web-based portal system will enable the communication and sharing of patient data taken from multiple, existing information systems across acute, community, primary health and social care. As part of the preparations, a public information campaign has been undertaken, which included a leaflet being sent to each Northern Ireland household introducing and explaining the NIECR system.

The Minister continued saying: "Confidentiality and data security remain a key priority across the HSC and the NIECR has undergone rigorous testing and can only be accessed over the secure health and social care network by authorised staff who need to see it to support patient care." He concluded: "This is a new and innovative way of doing things, and an example of how cutting-edge technology, clinical leadership and a collaborative approach can transform information into better care for patients."

Commenting on today's successful launch Colin Henderson, UK and Ireland Managing Director, Orion Health, said: "The HSC ICT strategy is not a future ambitions document - integrated care is here. The response from clinicians and patient groups to the Orion Health Clinical Portal ECR has been overwhelmingly positive. I've had several clinicians tell me that it has revolutionised the way they work. The NIECR will contribute significantly to improving patient safety and outcomes."

As Dr. Roy Harper, Consultant Endocrinologist, South Eastern Trust, testifies: "I have been using the proof of concept system for more than three years now and it has transformed how we run our clinics and wards. The ECR makes our job of providing the best care we can to patients so much easier."

Maeve Hully, Chief Executive of the Patient and Client Council, said: "People have told us they cannot understand why the right information is not available to those making decisions about their care, in the right place at the right time. The Patient and Client Council welcome this sensible development, which reflects what people want and expect. It will avoid the need for people to tell their story many times to health care staff."

Following a successful proof of concept pilot involving the Ulster Hospital, Dundonald, the Belfast City Hospital and local General Practices, a contract was signed in May 2012 with Orion Health to deliver the portal and integration technology behind the NIECR, with an approximate value of £9 million over the next seven years.

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About Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland (HSCNI)
Uniquely in the UK, Northern Ireland's Health and Social Care organises the delivery of integrated health and personal social services, including the promotion and improvement of health and well-being. The Health and Social Care Board is responsible for developing health and social care services across Northern Ireland and its role is broadly contained in three functions:

  • To arrange or 'commission' a comprehensive range of modern and effective health and social services for the 1.8 million people who live in Northern Ireland;
  • To work with the health and social care trusts that directly provide services to people to ensure that these meet their needs;
  • To deploy and manage its annual funding from the Northern Ireland Executive - currently £4 billion - to ensure that all services are safe and sustainable.

About Orion Health Ltd
Orion Health's easy-to-use solutions and applications improve patient care and clinical decision-making by providing integrated health data in a single, unified view. By enhancing existing healthcare information systems, the Orion Health Rhapsody™ Integration Engine, Clinical Portal and workflow solutions, provide healthcare workers with easy access to patient data and trends, and reduce errors and omissions by streamlining information transfer.

Worldwide, Orion Health implements health information communities involving over 30 million patients with hundreds of thousands of active users including NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Spain's IB-Salut, New Zealand Ministry of Health, Maine's HealthInfoNet, Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Alberta Health Services.

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