Belfast Health and Social Care Trust has announced that it has gone live with the encompass digital record system, replacing paper processes with a single digital record for each patient.

The system, which was implemented on 6 June 2024, means staff will have immediate access to care records, whether patients or service users are in hospital or at home.

encompass is a Health and Social Care Northern Ireland (HSCNI) wide initiative that will introduce an electronic care record for every person in Northern Ireland, underpinned by the Epic electronic patient record system.

It includes the MyCare portal, which provides patients with access to parts of their medical records, such as medications, appointments and some test results.

Dr Cathy Jack chief executive at Belfast Trust, said in a press release: “Our staff will now have immediate access to care records, whether patients or service users are in hospital or at home. This will improve efficiency across the system and contribute positively to patient safety.

“Most importantly, there are also enormous benefits for our patients and service users who will not need to repeat their information to staff at every appointment, creating a better experience for them.”

Alastair Campbell, director of performance, planning and informatics at Belfast Trust said: “encompass is now the interface through which every clinical and administrative team delivers care.

“This is a huge change and there will be a period of adjustment for staff as we get used to the new system”.

Dr Dermot Hughes, encompass senior responsible owner, said: “Implementing encompass in a trust as big as Belfast has been a massive undertaking.

“I have often said that transformation on this scale requires a HSCNI wide approach and once again, I am thankful for the efforts and support from colleagues right across the system who are on the ground supporting a safe go live for patients.”

South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust was the first trust in Northern Ireland to go live with encompass in November 2023, and it is planned to be rolled out across all health and social care trusts by the end of 2025.

10-year deal with Epic was signed in 2020 and is worth £275 million.

Belfast Trust and South Eastern Trust both deployed the Clinisys WinPath laboratory information management system in December 2023, to modernise their pathology services.