The Irish Health Board Executive (HeBE) in Ireland has signed a contract with IMS MAXIMS to upgrade its existing shared Patient Administration System (PAS) in a move designed to enable the Irish healthcare system to migrate towards integrated electronic patient records.

Owned by the Department of Health & Children and used by 48 hospitals in the Midland and Mid Western Health Boards and the Eastern Regional Health Authority, the upgraded common PAS system will include front-end Windows applications and an upgrade to Oracle-supplied relational database technology.

In phase one of the PAS upgrade project the system will be migrated onto an Oracle platform, and new Windows-based bed management and discharge management applications will be added.

Phase two of the project will see the existing character-based admission/discharge/transfer modules replaced with Windows functionality. According to IMS Maxims this will make it possible to subsequently add a range of leading clinical applications.

Denis Doherty, Director of HeBE, commented: “This imaginative project will extend both the life and the functionality of our PAS. At the same time it will eliminate the characteristics that have restricted our ability to add integrated applications to support the evolving needs of a modern health service.”

Mr Doherty added that the migration offered a cost-effective way to prepare for the future development of systems such as electronic patient records. “The development will ensure we have an excellent platform on which to base any future plans for integrated systems that deliver improved patient care.”

Brian Ennis, managing director IMS MAXIMS added that the upgrade of the Irish PAS will enable it to migrate to the most current of technologies, including web capability. “This will ensure that user hospitals can easily add applications that deliver hospital and community-wide electronic health records (EHR).”