HIQA seeks feedback on recommendations on a model for health information standards

Date of publication:

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) is asking the public for their feedback on its Draft recommendations on a model for health information standards to support the delivery of health and social care services in Ireland. Health information plays a key role in Irish health and social care services as front-line staff use patients’ data on a daily basis, while this data also informs future public policy decisions.

HIQA is encouraging submissions from the public during a six-week consultation on these draft recommendations, following which a final version will be submitted to the Minister for Health for consideration.

Health information standards deliver efficiencies in sharing patients’ data across our health and social care services. HIQA’s draft recommendations outline the need to establish a strategic independent entity to develop and implement health information standards in Ireland. This project is aligned with key national eHealth priorities, including Sláintecare, and it also follows on from HIQA’s 2021 paper on the need to reform of Ireland’s health information system, which made six recommendations to achieve reform across health and social care.

HIQA’s Director of Health Information and Standards, Rachel Flynn, said:  “Healthcare is information-intensive, generating huge volumes of data every day. It is essential that this data is accurate and reliable to be shared across all services. Through Sláintecare, there has been a commitment to adopt a standards-based approach for delivering a national health information system. However, while some good practice exists, overall this model is underdeveloped and responsibilities are spread across multiple organisations. Unlike in many other jurisdictions, there is no single entity in Ireland with responsibility for health information across both public and private services, or which has a mandate to develop, implement and promote adoption of health information standards.

"HIQA looks forward to working closely with the Department of Health on the new general scheme of a Health Information Bill which aims to ensure that Ireland has a fit-for-purpose national health information system. These recommendations present a real opportunity to accelerate progress in digital health and make a difference for patients.”

HIQA is now seeking to ensure that patients, their families and carers, healthcare professionals, and the general public can provide their views and contribute to the development of these recommendations. All feedback received will be analysed and used to inform the final recommendations.

Draft recommendations on a model for health information standards to support the delivery of health and social care services in Ireland are available from the link t the top of the page.
To take part in the consultation, please complete the short survey either online or in the feedback form by 5pm on Tuesday, 2 August 2022.


For further information please contact:
Marty Whelan, Head of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement
01 814 7480 / 085 805 5202 / mwhelan@hiqa.ie

Notes to the editor:

  • Through its statutory function for health information, HIQA develops recommendations, standards, guidance and reviews governance arrangements in the area of health information.
  • HIQA launched a report calling for reform of the health information system for health and social care in Ireland in October 2021. The report makes six recommendations across strategy, leadership, legislation, workforce, standards and health information infrastructure needed to establish an effective and efficient national health information system.
  • Following on from that report, the Draft recommendations on a model for health information standards to support the delivery of health and social care services in Ireland defines a model for health information standards, crucial to enable the safe and efficient sharing of health information and to underpin an integrated national health information system.
  • HIQA’s recommendations were developed based on international best practice. A best practice review on Health Information Modelling was published on the HIQA website in March 2021. We undertook a desktop review of five countries and identified key stakeholders and held virtual interviews to inform the review.
  • The draft recommendations were developed following engagement, through a specially convened advisory group, with stakeholders from key organisations and programmes across the areas of health and social care, — including the Department of Health, Health Service Executive (HSE) programmes including eHealth and Disruptive technologies programmes, HSE National Screening Service, HSE Clinical Care Programmes, Irish Pharmacy Union, General Practice Information Technology Group (GPIT), the Irish Medical Organisation, patient representative organisations and academia.