Primary Care IT
In August 2015, we will launch an IT strategy for Primary Care. This will focus especially on IT enabled solutions that can make a meaningful difference for patients who transition between the Primary and Secondary Care settings. With the introduction of the national Individual Health Identifier, there is massive potential to ensure that the data required for the safe treatement of patients who transition between these settings is available to the clinicians when and where it is required. This will improve continuity of care, reduce the risk of repeating tests unnecessarily and ultimately lead to safer environment and better service for patients. - See more at: http://www.ehealth.ptoolstest.com/Strategic-Programmes/Primary-Care-IT/#sthash.EoroafTM.dpuf
Major ICT Projects in Primary Care
We are currently pursuing two new major projects in train for Primary Care. Both projects are featured in our Case Studies.
The National e-Referrals project follows on from the success of a pilot that was run across hospitals in the South of the country in 2014. The Healthmail project, a joint initiative between the HSE, Irish College of GPs and the Department of Health, meanwhile has seen widespread and rapid adoption by clinicians all across the country.
Both projects are focused on improving integration between the Primary and Secondary Care for the benefit of patients. Here is a brief description of both projects:
National Electronic Referrals
This project will enable GP's to make general referrals electronically to all public hospitals across the country. From within the GP's Practice Management IT system, your GP will be able to select the hospital and specialty where the referral is targeted. The referral can be pre-populated with demographics and relevant clinical days from the GP Practice Management System, thus creating a high quality, consistent and complete referral in line with HIQA guidelines to aid the triage process by the receiving consultant.
Having rolled out the solution to the hospitals in Cork and Kerry, the next step is to deploy it to all sites nationally. We have just brought an additional six sites live and are engaged with the next tranche of sites for go live in October. We plan to take all sites live with e-Referrals by March 2016.
Healthmail is designed to advance patient care by connecting clinicians throughout the Health Service ensuring accurate information is received in a timely manner to inform decision making, particularly in relation to patient diagnosis or treatment.
Healthmail allows GPs to communicate with:
Primary Care Teams
Community Intervention Teams
Palliative Care Teams
Consultants and Clinical Nurse Specialists in secondary care
Departments of Public Health
In the past, the absence of a secure clinical email system was costly to both GPs and hospitals with thousands of letters and faxes being sent a day by clinicians. This secure service is expected to save GPs and hospitals both time and money as well as eliminating the risk of lost paperwork.
The service was formally launched by Minister Kathleen Lynch in April 2015 so we are currently focusing our efforts on promoting its adoption, expanding the its usage and sharing practical use cases.