Innovative patient portal a first in Northern Ireland

  • New technology is to be piloted in Northern Ireland to help people living with Dementia take better ownership of their own health. 

    This is the first time innovative technology such as this has been introduced in Northern Ireland and is designed to put patients back at the centre of their care whilst at the same time deliver efficiencies for the Health Service.

    The collaboration project between Orion Health and Health & Social Care NI (HSCNI), is due to go live in August 2018, with an initial pilot of up to 100 people living with dementia, to establish the “Proof of Concept” which once successfully proven will see the opportunity for a ground-breaking Patient Portal to be rolled out across Northern Ireland.

    Orion Health is a leading population health management company and one of the world’s leading providers of electronic health records (EHRs) and healthcare integration solutions to healthcare organisations. Worldwide, the company's solutions are used in over 30 countries to facilitate healthcare for more than 110 million patients.

    Health and Social Care NI has committed to giving citizens access to digital information that will enable them to take better ownership of their own health, manage their conditions effectively and engage with health care professionals. The Patient Portal will empower patients to do this by providing the right information, at the right time and in the right manner using the latest web-based technology.

    “We are delighted to be working on the Patient Portal Pathfinder project which builds upon our continued work to deliver and develop the Northern Ireland Electronic Care Record system,” commented Gary Birks, General Manager UK & Ireland for Orion Health. “The Patient Portal will build upon this ground-breaking information platform and will see the Pathfinder Project deliver real benefits in the care provided to people living with dementia and their carers whilst improving efficiencies for the Health Service.”

    Building the Patient Portal is not without its challenges, as many people living with dementia require access to a wide range of specialist health services rather than simply requiring treatment for their dementia. The existence of a multitude of legacy systems across HSCNI, in both hospital and community settings, with multiple data entry points, and the risk of data inaccuracy further compounds the complexity of addressing user needs.

    “The Patient Portal is possible due to its ability to access the award-winning Northern Ireland Electronic Care Record (NIECR) platform which has been in operation for over five years and provides health and care professionals with a single view of a patient’s health record”, commented Stephen Beattie, eHealth Programme Manager, Business Services Organisation, “It will also provide patients with access to view relevant information regarding their healthcare in a digital format at a time convenient to them and in a consumable format.”

    The Pathfinder Project will focus on dementia care in the first instance in order to better understand user requirements in such a complex and diverse area of healthcare. The iterative approach being adopted to the development of the Patient Portal will help to establish important protocols, such as how to deliver laboratory results to patients, which can then be replicated if the Patient Portal is rolled out more widely across health and social care.


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