HIQA asking for public feedback on patient information database

A new national database that records patient information online is being put out for public consultation.

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) is asking for feedback on the national electronic patient summary, which is listed as a priority under the Slaintecare strategy. Submissions are open until September 11th.

Sláintecare presents a ten-year vision to transform Ireland’s health and social care services.

Dr Kevin O'Carroll, from HIQA, says the system could be of huge benefit to medical professionals and patients:

"The implementation of an electronic patient summary can lead to safer and better healthcare for patients.

"Particularly in the case where it is unscheduled care in an emergency situation, information about the patient which may not be readily available can be accessed through the electronic patient summary."

HIQA said in a statement that the database will support information sharing, patient empowerment and the development of digital services.

They continued by saying "based on an analysis of Ireland’s current model, expert advice and a review of international best practice, HIQA has developed 15 draft recommendations for the Minister for Health on how national electronic patient summaries should be successfully implemented."

Consultation process

Dr O’Carroll also says: “This consultation is a key milestone in preparing Ireland for national electronic patient summaries.

"Electronic patient summaries have the potential to make healthcare delivery safer and more effective by ensuring healthcare professionals have access to a patient’s information, such as medical history and prescribed medications, at the point of care.

“Feedback from stakeholders on how to implement a patient summary is vital and important to this programme’s success.

"We are asking the public for their input on our recommendations, and look forward to hearing from professionals, organisations, and the general public, in particular patients and their carers.

"The consultation will ask people to consider what governance structures should be in place to provide oversight, and how patient and public representation can be built into that structure among other key issues.”

HIQA says they are now inviting members of the public to provide feedback on the draft recommendations to the Minister before the deadline for submissions at 5pm on Friday, 11 September 2020.

For more information on the draft guidance and the consultation, including how to make a submission, visit www.hiqa.ie.