HIQA calls on professionals across health and social care to share their views on the future of digital health and social care in Ireland

Date of publication:

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) is carrying out a survey with professionals in health and social care on the future of digital health and social care in Ireland. The evidence from the survey will be used to inform policy and digital developments in the area.

The project is a collaboration between HIQA, the Department of Health, and the Health Service Executive (HSE) and is being conducted in the context of EU targets where the public will have electronic access to their medical records by 2030. ¹Under the Sláintecare health reform programme, the Government has goals around using digital technologies in health and social care. ²In addition, the Health Information Bill 2023 is currently in development. ³Furthermore, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been many changes in how people interact with services, for example through telehealth, remote health monitoring, and use of email and text.

Rachel Flynn, Director of Health Information and Standards said “HIQA wants to hear the views of professionals on these wide-ranging changes. We want to give professionals a platform to voice their opinions and have a meaningful impact on future developments in digital health and social care in Ireland. Therefore, we are asking professionals to complete the online survey for the National Engagement on Digital Health and Social Care.”

The survey is aimed at seven groups:
1. Dentists.
2. Doctors.
3. Registrants with the Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council.
4. Members of the Psychological Society of Ireland.
5. Nurses and midwives.
6. Pharmacists.
7. Registrants with CORU (Ireland's multi-profession health regulator).

HIQA wants to understand professionals’ opinions, attitudes, and comfort levels with digital health and social care, including digital services and the public having digital access to their own health and social care information. In addition, HIQA wishes to know the benefits, challenges, and gaps for both professionals in health and social care and the people they treat or care for.

The survey will be launched on 4 September 2023 and will run for five weeks. It should take participants 15 minutes to complete.

As part of the engagement project, HIQA has already carried out a telephone survey with 2,000 members of the public. This is being followed by focus groups with a cross section of the public as well as advocacy and representative bodies. These will take place in autumn 2023.

Similar to the public survey, the professional survey will be followed by focus groups with a broad range of the health and social care workforce, including administration, managerial, and ICT staff.

The overall findings from the national engagement will be used to help develop recommendations for the Minister for Health on the future of digital health and social care in Ireland. In addition, the findings will be published on the HIQA website when the project is completed.

For more information and to complete the online survey, visit the HIQA website.


Further information:

Zoe Forde, Communications Manager, HIQA, 085 802 1469, zforde@hiqa.ie

Editor's Notes

  • Through its statutory function under the Health Act 2007, HIQA develops recommendations, standards, guidance, and reviews governance arrangements in the area of health information.
  • The National Engagement on Digital Health and Social Care adds to the evidence base of other surveys carried out by HIQA. 
    • In September 2021, HIQA, the Department of Health, and the HSE published a report on the Findings of the National Public Engagement on Health Information which consulted over 1,300 people on the collection, use, and sharing of health information.
    • The National Care Experience Programme runs regular surveys on the Irish public’s experience of services and to improve care. The surveys that have been run to date are the Nursing Home Survey, the Inpatient Survey, the Maternity Survey, the Maternity Bereavement Survey, and the End of Life Survey.


¹Europe’s Digital Decade: Europe’s Digital Decade: digital targets for 2030 (europa.eu)

²Sláintecare Report 2017: An Coiste um Chúram Sláinte sa Todhchaí - Tuarascáil maidir le Cúram Sláinte - Bealtaine 2017 | Committee on the Future of Healthcare - Sláintecare Report - May 2017 - e68786c13e1b4d7daca89b495c506bb8.pdf (www.gov.ie)

³Health Information Bill 2023: gov.ie - Health Information Bill 2023 (www.gov.ie)