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National Audiology Clinical Management System (NA-CMS)

About Audiology

HSE Audiology (Hearing) Services provide a comprehensive, family-friendly service for babies, children of all ages and for all eligible adults. The Community Audiology Services (CAS) assesses and manages hearing loss, and if necessary refers a client for appropriate medical or surgical treatment. Find out more about Audiology Services here

1.    What did we do?

‘The aim of the project was to provide an efficient and effective system to fulfill the needs of all audiology services in the Acute and Community service, as well as the National Cochlear implant program’ reported Dr. Gary Norman, National Clinical Lead for Audiology.

A new system, comprising of several functional modules including administrative (referral management, online booking and scheduling, text messaging and waiting list management automated client check in) clinical (Audiological assessment and management, surgical, client journal) and statistical and reporting modules was procured and has been deployed in the first instance at the Russell Centre, Talacare, on the 11th of January 2018. It is intended to roll out the system nationally to the CAS and subsequently for it to be accessible from the Acute services.

2.    Why was it needed?

Up until now the CAS has been supported by the historical National Rehabilitation Board Client Management System (NRB2), while Acute services typically did not have a clinical system in use. During the National Audiology Review (2011), serious deficiencies were identified within the NRB2 system and one of the key recommendations of the report was to introduce a nationwide clinical management system to replace the existing audiology system (NRB2).

3.    How was it done?

The Primary Care Division commenced an ambitious process of developing the specifications for procuring the new system, the National Audiology Clinical Management system (NA-CMS). Following procurement Audit Base, an internationally recognised Audiology software package was selected. The software which is provided by Audit Data Limited.

A pre pilot phase was required to modify the system to meet the requirements of the HSE Audiology service and the formal operational pilot started on 11th January 2018 by the CAS in the Russell Centre Talacare.

4.    What has been achieved? – and Where are we now?

Not only does the system provide all of the client management features required, it also interfaces with audiometric test equipment to facilitate complete client data retention. This coupled with the potential for electronic referral is a significant move towards a paper light service

As deployment and access continues the new system will allow front line clinicians, such as audiologists and ENT Consultants in both acute and community locations to access up-to-date client records. This will eliminate unnecessary test being repeated, as clients will be identified on parallel audiology pathways.    

The standard, comprehensive recording of client data clinical data within the electronic record will address any prior shortcomings and minimize the risk of precautionary recalls for Children. It will also improve the accuracy rates for national metrics and identification of trends and bottlenecks.

5.    What next?

Following the CAS pilot at the Russell Centre Talacare, the next planned go live is in Grange Gorman, closely followed by a national rollout to the remaining 34 CAS locations.

Work continues on establishing and ensuring that the infrastructure requirements for the remaining CAS locations are in place. This includes: provision of high specification PC's and where necessary increasing network bandwidth, to accommodate the software requirements. In addition, a migration and merging of historical data is being undertaken.

Justin McGoldrick, Senior Project Manager with the Office of the Chief Information Officer is confident that this work will be completed in the very near future and full nationwide introduction of NA-CMS can commence.

Once completed the NA-CMS will be the first National CMS implementation for audiology in the world.

Project team

Dr Gary Norman, Mr Justin McGoldrick, Senior Project Manager OoCIO, Ms Bronagh O’Donnell, Assistant National Clinical lead, Ms Julie-Ann Gahan, Operations Manager CAS, Ms Melanie McManus, Project manager CAS, Ms Deborah McCrea, Account & Payroll Supervisor CAS, Mr Ian O’Neil, Principal Clinical Engineer & Head of National Audiology Technical Dept., Mr Ciaran Clifford, Assistant National Clinical lead.

Brian Murphy, Head of Planning & Performance, Primary Care Division, Shirley Kane, Business Planning and Development Manger, Aisling Heffernan, Primary Care Strategy Lead for Therapy & Diagnostic Services

A big thank you to the NACMS group and all of the staff in the Talacare Audiology Department, for their enthusiasm and support during the introduction of the system.