HIQA leading on an ‘integrated approach’ to health information in Ireland

Date of publication:

Today, the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), alongside the Department of Health and the Office of the Chief Information Officer, are holding a health information seminar; ‘National Health Information — Better data, better decisions’. The seminar will be opened by the Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, and aims to promote an integrated, person-centred approach to health information.

Rachel Flynn, HIQA’s Director of Health Information and Standards, commented: “With the forthcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), HIQA is bringing together all those interested in improving Ireland’s health information. It is important that high-quality health and social care information is available to support the delivery, planning and monitoring of services. It is also important that a person-centred approach is taken to ensure that the privacy, confidentiality and quality of personal health information is assured and that information is collected, used and stored in a safe and effective way.”

“Over 250 attendees will discuss how Ireland can develop a coherent and integrated approach to health information that engages with patients, and is based on standards and international best practice.”

“With national and international speakers, the seminar will provide an opportunity for participants to provide input into national health information policy being developed by the Department of Health in Ireland. Chief Information Officer of the HSE, Richard Corbridge, will discuss the implementation of the eHealth strategy in Ireland. Delegates will also hear what is happening internationally to improve the quality of health information.”

To help health and social care services meet the requirements of the GDPR, HIQA is launching guidance on conducting privacy impact assessments in health and social care. The guidance and toolkit will help service providers to take a person-centred approach to privacy, and to demonstrate transparency and compliance with privacy and data protection legislation.

HIQA is also publishing the third version of the catalogue of national health and social care data collections today. The catalogue aims to inform and increase awareness on the existence, purpose and content of data collections and how data can be accessed. By outlining all of the national health and social care data collections, it also assists in identifying gaps or inconsistencies in health information in Ireland.

Rachel Flynn continued: “A unified approach to health information will allow all stakeholders — patients and service users, health professionals, policy-makers and the general public — to make choices or decisions based on the best available information. This is the basic requirement for a safe, reliable healthcare system.”


For further information please contact:

Marty Whelan, Head of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement 01 814 7480 / 086 244 7623 mwhelan@hiqa.ie.

Notes to Editor:

  • The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect on 25 May 2018, replacing current Irish and EU data protection legislation.
  • Natalie Banner from the Wellcome Trust (UK) will speak about its new initiative ‘Understanding Patient Data’, which aims to support discussions with the public, patients and healthcare professionals about the use of health data and information.
  • Tobi Henderson from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) will present on current developments in relation to health information in Canada and CIHI’s new Information Quality Framework.