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Northern Ireland Care Record extended to optometrists


The Northern Ireland Electronic Care Record (NIECR) is being made available to community optometrists in the province.

The technology provider Orion Health said it is now being used by more than 60% of the 271 optometry contractor practices across Northern Ireland, with over 1,000 log-ins during June.

The NIECR has been provided to other healthcare providers through a contract between the company and the Business Services Organisation (BSO) of Health and Social Care Board over the past six years.

It said the access will provide a more joined approach to eye care as optometrists will have sight of relevant underlying health issues for patients, such as diabetes.

The record includes details of medication, access to supporting information such as scans, and enables optometrists to make electronic patient referrals to other healthcare providers.

Stephen Beattie of the BSO said: “For the first time optometrists have access to all relevant aspects of a patient’s electronic care record. This insight is already helping to improve the level of care which patients receive and will ensure that more informed decisions can be made by all of the healthcare professionals involved.”

There are also plans to make further information available to optometrists through an interface with various management systems used by ophthalmology sub-specialities, such as the macular service and diabetes screening reports.

Image: Margaret McMullan, clinical optometric adviser, Health and Social Care Board; Caitriona Bradley, project support (eHealth), BSO; Gavin Corrigan, optometrist, Corrigan Opticians; Nick Willox, sales director, Orion Health; Stephen Beattie, eHealth programme manager, BSO.

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