Northern Ireland deploys electronic care record
Northern Ireland's Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety has announced the province-wide rollout of an electronic care records system by April 2013.
Health Minister Edwin Poots announced the signing of a £9m IT contract this week with Orion Health. It follows a pilot involving 9,000 patients at the Ulster Hospital Dundonald, Belfast City Hospital and two general practices. A business case for the full rollout of the care record was approved in September 2011.
Poots said: "This new system will benefit everyone in Northern Ireland. It has the potential to vastly improve the quality, speed, safety and clinical outcomes for patients and service users."
Referring to concerns about data sharing, the minister said: "Patients must have full confidence in our ability to continue to keep the information we hold about them safely and ensure that any sharing of their information is appropriate and for the direct benefit of their care. Confidentiality and security of patient information remain a key priority across the HSC and the ECR will have stringent safeguards in place to ensure the continued protection of patient information."