Individual Health Identifier (IHI)

Individual Health Identifier (IHI)

The Individual Health Identifier (IHI) is required for:

  • Patient safety
  • Improved patient care
  • Efficiency of health services
  • Critical for the provision of eHealth systems

Technical Overview

  • The IHI Technical Infrastructure has been operational since August 2016.
  • It consists of a central IHI Index which has been populated with 6.5 million records with IHI numbers assigned for current and previous residents of Ireland.
  • The central IHI Index has been configured with complex matching algorithms which allow for the searching and accurate matching of records using alpha, phonetic and other searches.
  • Consumers systems provide demographic data via interfaces to the Index and where the data meets the matching criteria threshold, the IHI number is returned.
  • It has been providing IHI numbers for all electronic referrals and other health systems such as PCRS, Immunisations, Cancer Screening and most recently for Covid services.

When a match is found, the IHI number is returned by several channels:

  • Real-time via a call to the IHI API
  • Contained within a HL7 message from which it can be harvested and stored
  • By provision of a bulk seeding file that can be loaded into the consumer system

Nine data items are enabled for demographic-based lookups to the IHI Index:

  • 4 core data items: First Name, Last Name, Date of Birth, Gender
  • 4 additional data items: Address Line 1, Eircode, PPSN and Mothers Birth Family Name
  • 1 supplementary data item: Mobile Phone Number.
  • A minimum of all 4 core data items plus 1 additional data item must be provided in order to do a search against the IHI Index.

Further information on the IHI is available here.

General queries: