Our Health Information team aims to develop a consistent and standardised approach to health and social care information, based on standards and international best practice.

Health and social care are information-intensive, generating huge volumes of data every day. It is important that such information is managed in the most effective way possible in order to ensure high-quality, safe health and social care.

Safe reliable healthcare depends on access to, and use of, information that is accurate, valid, reliable, timely, legible and complete. High-quality health information is a fundamental requirement for delivering health and social care and making healthcare planning decisions.

Health information is used to improve health and social care, to inform decision-making, monitor diseases, organise services, inform policy-making, conduct high-quality research and plan for future health and social care needs, both at national and local levels.

Although there are already a number of examples of good practice in Ireland, there are also major gaps, silos of information and duplication in the country’s health information landscape. We are working to address these challenges.

Our Health Information team's functions are summarised below.

Developing recommendations on health information

We provide leadership in defining the health information landscape in Ireland by influencing policy and legislation through collaborating with the health information community and developing recommendations.

Examples include: 

Setting standards for health information

We deliver and improve the essential foundations required to enable eHealth in Ireland and make progress with Ireland’s eHealth strategy. We do this by developing both technical and information management standards for health information.

Examples include:

Driving improvements in the quality of health information

We develop guidance and resources to assist the health and social care sector to produce high-quality health information in order to support the delivery of safe care, decision-making, monitoring and planning.

Examples include:

Assessing compliance with standards

We work to ensure continuous improvement by assessing compliance with information management standards.

Examples includes the review of compliance with the Information Management Standards for National Health and Social Care Data Collections, which will commence in 2017. For more information, please see the Guide to HIQA's review of information management practices in national health and social care data collections.

HIQA has developed a Self-assessment tool for national health and social care data collections which will allow national data collections to determine the extent to which they are compliant with the Information Management Standards for National Health and Social Care Data Collections.