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.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

11 April 2013
£40m Health Care Centres Announced For NI
Two new £40m health care centres for Northern Ireland have been given the go-ahead. The new Lisburn and Newry facilities will accommodate GPs as well as a number of community services provided by the Trusts.
11 March 2003
Primary care must be strengthened says Browne
The role of primary care has to be strengthened and expanded, NIO Health Minister Des Browne has told delegates at the ‘Primary Care-Moving Forward’ conference in Armagh today.
24 November 2010
Call For More NHS Domestics
An urgent call for 200 more domestic staff in the local health service to safeguard and enhance patient safety is being made today by the trade union UNISON.
14 September 2012
Cancer Patients Missing Out On NI Treatment Targets
Cancer patients across Northern Ireland are starting treatment late as health trusts fail on basic performance standards, it has emerged. Last April, the health minister said 95% of people who were urgently referred with suspected cancer should begin treatment within 62 days.
09 April 2014
Medical Professionals To Meet For 'Emergency Health Care Summit'
A number of senior medical professionals are to meet for what has been described as an "emergency health care summit". It is understood that the meeting is to take place in Belfast to discuss the "ongoing crisis facing emergency departments and staff".