As staff at Health and Social Care Northern Ireland (HSCNI) surveyed a landscape of disparate clinical systems, they harboured a vision: a comprehensive care record for every patient using HSCNI services. It’s a vision which has now been a reality for five years.

The Northern Ireland Electronic Care Record (NIECR) provides care professionals with a comprehensive record for every patient using HSCNI services. Sitting on top of existing systems, the NIECR provides health and social care professionals with a single view of key patient information – including but not limited to demographics, lab results, medications, allergies, diagnoses, encounters, and clinical correspondence.

The setup has significantly cut the clinical time wasted trying to access or confirm patient information, reduced unnecessary duplication of laboratory and radiology procedures, and supported more efficient and standardised workflows.

Functionality has evolved over the five years for which the system has been in place. It now encompasses full audit of electronic referrals from primary to secondary care; supports radiology order communications, ensuring a single approach to radiology ordering across the region; a single diabetes pathway; and results sign off, giving the ability to review and approve lab and radiology reports within the system.

Some 95 per cent of clinicians have said NIECR saves them time. One consultant in Belfast describes it as “the single most useful IT advance in healthcare”. Find out more by downloading the case study.

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