26/04/2013

Patient Records To Benefit People In NI

New patient records system will benefit every person in Northern Ireland, according to the Health Minister.

Edwin Poots was speaking days before thousands of leaflets will be delivered to households across Northern Ireland as part of a public information campaign to raise awareness of Northern Ireland's first Electronic Care Record (NIECR) system.

Mr 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 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. More timely access by healthcare professionals to more complete information will benefit all patients, reduce duplication and wasted time, and improve safety – for example, doctors can check your x-rays and test results on the computer as soon as they are available so your treatment can start sooner.

"As this is likely to affect every person in Northern Ireland, I want everyone to understand how NIECR will work for them, and that is why 760,000 leaflets will drop through everyone’s door over the next few days to explain about the introduction of the NIECR."

On a recent visit to the United States the Minister saw at firsthand how electronic records there are being used to intelligently enhance patient safety and quality of care, predict potential illness, maximise uptake of screening programmes and limit adverse drug reactions, using prompts for healthcare workers to intervene. These are exactly the kind of areas in which Minister Poots envisages the Northern Ireland ECR transforming health care in the province.

The Minister 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."

(CD)


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