National Shared Care Record

The vision of the Shared Care Record Programme is ‘to create a National Shared Care Record (NSCR) which clinicians, patients and carers value and use to improve clinical decision-making’. The NSCR will be an enterprise-wide platform capable of supporting a patient’s care transitions through the Irish healthcare system in a secure and robust manner. It will make an important contribution to the integration of care between acute and community services, including the shift of services toward the community and the establishment of vertically integrated Regional Health Areas.

The NSCR will support:

  • Better, safer clinical decision-making
  • More informed and engaged patients and citizens
  • Improved care coordination between healthcare providers
  • Improved patient experience and outcomes
  • More time released to care
  • Secure sharing of health information

The National Shared Care Record will be an invaluable resource to assist in improved clinical outcomes. For example, an Emergency Medicine doctor, treating an unconscious patient, can quickly view that patient’s current medications, allergies, recent blood test results and any relevant clinical documents, such as active treatment plans. The doctor can then make speedy clinical decisions, informed by an overview of the patient’s medical history. The NSCR will also support continuity of care when patients are discharged from a hospital bed into the community. A public health nurse visiting a patient for the first time can have an overview of the patient’s recent inpatient stay, of their continuing care needs, and of any underlying conditions which will need management.

Patients, their families, and carers (subject to patient consent) will also have access to their own key healthcare information in the National Shared Care Record, enabling them to actively participate in decisions relating to their care. Patients who participate in their healthcare decisions report higher levels of satisfaction with their care; have increased knowledge about conditions, tests, and treatment; and have more realistic expectations about their treatment plans.

By ‘releasing’ patient records from their current siloes in disparate systems of record and making them available at the point of care and self-care, the National Shared Care Record will aid clinicians in safe and timely clinical decision-making and will empower citizens and patients to take more control of their health records, healthcare and wellbeing.

The NSCR will be deployed on a phased basis beginning in a targeted RHA area. Phase 1 will include getting the data into the right place to share, delivery of a standards-based platform, and a read-only device agnostic view of aggregated existing Patient Summary data for clinicians. The first phase will also include the development of a business process to on-board additional data sources and Services, and a Patient access model. The NSCR will then be rolled out nationally and at scale to all clinicians with a need to view patient records aggregated from different source systems, and to patients seeking to view their clinical details and inform their health-related decision making.

By delivering a clinically valuable digital tool across the care continuum, the National Shared Care Record will be an important step on the HSE’s digital maturity journey and release value from previous investments in siloed digital patient record solutions.

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circular graphic representing NCSR integration NSCR-Patient-at-the-Centre-(1)


Updated 14/08/2023