27/06/2013

New Patient Records System Will Benefit All – Poots

Health Minister Edwin Poots has said accurate and accessible patient records will help improve the speed, quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery across Northern Ireland.

Mr Poots made the comments at the launch of NI's first Electronic Care Record (ECR) system.

Speaking about the new system, he explained: "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 part of the preparations, a public information campaign was undertaken, which included a leaflet being sent to every household explaining about the introduction of the NIECR.

Poots added: "Confidentiality and data security remain a key priority across the HSC and the NIECR has undergone rigorous testing and can only be accessed by authorised staff over the secure health and social care network who need to see it to support patient care."

A successful proof of concept pilot was carried out at the Ulster Hospital, Dundonald, the Belfast City Hospital and local General Practices, and a contract was signed in May 2012 with Orion Health to deliver the portal and integration technology behind the NIECR, with a value of approximately £9m over the next seven years.

(JP/CD)

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