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
- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org