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HealthIRL - What’s in a name?

The experience in HSE Mid-West Community Healthcare CH03

“Be Yourself: Everyone Else is taken” -Oscar Wilde

Identity has always been a critical part of humanity through the ages. Identity is an important element of what makes us who we are. Identity is of course closely connected to the use of names throughout history. The concept of digital identity is relatively new, however. For many of us who grew up in the ‘analogue’ era showing our passports to go through security at airports or using our driver’s licenses to verify our age at bars (not so much for me recently!), it is second nature to provide proof of our credentials in a physical setting. Providing this proof of ourselves isn’t quite so simple in a digital world.

According to a recent article by Deloitte, “If an organization gets their digital identity right it leads to more efficiency, revenue and transformational benefits with an enhanced user experience for colleagues, and a differentiating digital journey for customers or citizens”. HealthIRL is a key national HSE Digital Identity programme to migrate all users, devices and mailboxes from 8 legacy regional based domains to a central shared domain known as HealthIRL. In fact, it could be thought in simple terms as replacing 8 historical surnames in use throughout the HSE nationally with one common surname to create one overall family in the HSE (in the digital sense) and to ensure a consistent digital identity for all HSE staff. HealthIRL will allow the HSE to have a central single view of all resources, which enables best practice identity management and access management controls, with centralised governance and improve cyber security defence.

Jerry Giltenane, Julia Marczi, Sarah Creede photograhed beside HSE Mid West Poster

Photographed above L-R: Jerry Giltenane, Julia Marczi, Sarah Creede.

As Digital lead for CHO3 and in conjunction with the Chief Officer, we identified that HealthIRL was a key priority for our area and a stepping stone to meet the future business needs, in terms of future applications, cyber security needs and improved digital collaboration, particularly as there was a very small saturation of HealthIRL in the region. We identified about 4000 users that needed to be checked and came up with an implementation plan to migrate any legacy domain users over to HealthIRL. A critical part of the implementation plan was the support from the CO and the Heads of Service in terms of nominating HealthIRL leads for each service that worked very closely with the CHO3 Digital Health and the HealthIRL teams. We had weekly meetings (daily ones as well for specific purposes) and these leads played a critical role in getting data back from all staff in each service that was then used to plan an accelerated rollout plan.

We were also one of the first CHOs to use the new S1iD process, known as “SID” for staff data collection as well and this was a huge help in our process. Users were nervous at the start, but a collaborative approach from the Digital Health team and HealthIRL migration programme helped alleviate these concerns. Migrations weren’t always perfect, but overall, experience was quite good and the HealthIRL team worked hard to resolve any issues in a speedy and seamless manner. Users became more confident as earlier users had a mostly positive experience and thanks to the very close relationship between the CHO3 Digital Health and HealthIRL migration teams, the programme delivered an effective migration strategy, with an engaged business team, meeting programme needs.

We also started to use a hub and spoke model as well to allow more and more migrations to happen on a daily basis and of course we relied heavily on tools such as MS Teams, Sharepoint etc. (some of the benefits of Healthirl) to ensure an organised and easily assessable set of project data. We are planning to have CHO3 completed in Q2 in terms of HealthIRL and as noted, the close working relationships between Digital Health and the HealthIRL teams and the fantastic nominated service leads has been critical to our progress to date, as well of course a touch of good old fashioned hard work, as it is a laborious and technical process and we certainly look forward to getting it completed in the next few months and to be all one big happy digital family!



Learn more about HealthIRL here