We aim to develop a consistent and standardised approach to health and social care information within the Irish eHealth and health information landscape.

What we do
HIQA works collaboratively, using best available evidence, to develop recommendations to support decision making for the Irish eHealth and health information landscape. HIQA drives improvements in the quality of data and information by developing national standards and guidance and assessing compliance with these national standards.

How do we do it
Working collaboratively with key stakeholders, HIQA gathers national and international evidence on best practice. HIQA consults with experts, stakeholders, service providers and service users. HIQA reports on the implementation of our national standards and guidance, and supports organisations to improve health information.

HIQA, in partnership with the Department of Health and the HSE, conducted a Public Engagement Survey to gather the attitudes and opinions of the public in relation to the collection, use and sharing of health information. This included a national telephone survey and focus groups with the public, patients and special interest groups. For more information see - National Public Engagement Survey on Health Information.

Accurate, relevant and timely data is essential in order to deliver services and improve health and social care. It can be used to inform decision-making, monitor diseases, organise services, support policy making, conduct quality research and plan for future health and social care needs, both at local and national level.

HIQA develops 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.

Online course – How to improve data quality for health and social care services

We have developed an online learning course for all staff working in health and social care settings on the importance of high-quality data and information and to assist organisations in implementing HIQA’s Guidance on a data quality framework.

The course comprises two modules:

  • Module 1: Introduction to data quality
  • Module 2: Developing a data quality framework

If you require a certificate of completion, you will need to log in to HSELanD to complete each module which can be found in the course catalogue ‘Health & Social Care Professionals’. This is available to all those working in the health and social care sector and to students in Irish universities or colleges. There is no charge to set up an account. For further information, please visit HSELanD's help page. If you have any technical difficulties, please contact HSELanD technical support.

Alternatively, you can complete the course without a certificate by visiting HIQA’s Learning Hub. If you have any difficulties in locating the course or any content queries, please contact us at healthinformation@hiqa.ie.

"In the future, a coherent suite of eHealth solutions will underpin and support our overall vision for integrated, patient-centred care, population health planning and more effective and safe delivery of health services” (SlainteCare Implementation Plan).

Electronic health records are the cornerstone of this modern eHealth infrastructure, together with patient summaries (summary care records), shared care records, and electronic prescribing (ePrescribing).

HIQA has worked to progress the implementation of electronic health records and these related eHealth enablers, through the development of national standards for messaging and for clinical datasets, and recommendations.

Electronic prescribing is a key enabler of eHealth solutions, in particular for community care.
HIQA has undertaken a significant programme of work in this area, including the development of evidence-based national standards and recommendations.

Good information governance practices support and promote increased confidence among people who use health and social care services that their information is being managed appropriately. HIQA has published a number of documents on how service providers can implement good information governance practices.

National health and social care data collections are national repositories of routinely collected health and social care data in the Republic of Ireland. HIQA has compiled a catalogue of all national health and social care data collections in Ireland and has developed national standards and guidance that aim to improve the quality of national health information and data.

Terminologies and classifications are a fundamental part of any eHealth ecosystem, ensuring that electronic health records and other healthcare systems understand and use data in the same way.

HIQA has developed national standards for clinical datasets and made recommendations in relation to SNOMED CT.

HIQA undertakes review programmes to assess compliance with national standards for national data collections and eHealth services within the HSE in Ireland. The aim of these programmes is to drive quality improvements by identifying areas of good practice and areas where improvements are necessary.