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In many countries, a national electronic patient summary is used by healthcare providers to support medical treatment during an episode of unscheduled care. Also known as a summary care record, a national electronic patient summary provides a snapshot of a patient’s essential clinical information by bringing together information from various IT systems into a single place.
 
A national electronic patient summary was listed by the Sláintecare Implementation Plan (2018) as a crucial element of Ireland’s national eHealth policy and a key area for the modernising of the health and social care system in Ireland. Rachel Flynn, HIQA’s Director of Health Information and Standards, said: “Electronic patient summaries have the potential to make healthcare delivery safer and more effective by ensuring healthcare professionals have access to a patient’s information, such as medical history and prescribed medications, at the point of care. This is essential in an emergency or unscheduled health visit, and very useful during other episodes of care.”
 
This document contains Recommendations on the Implementation of a National Electronic Patient Summary in Ireland, which were developed in collaboration with a broad range of stakeholders. The Recommendations are informed by findings from:

 
To understand more about these recommendations and related topics, see the accompanying animation and guides:

  • What is a national electronic patient summary?
    This animation shows how a national electronic patient summary can help ensure safer better treatment during an episode of unscheduled care.
  • A quick guide to key eHealth terms
    This guide explains four key eHealth terms that are used in the Recommendations on the Implementation of a National Electronic Patient Summary.
  • eHealth in Ireland Frequently Asked Questions
    This guide provides an overview of healthcare interoperability internationally and how this has influenced the national standards, recommendations, and guidance that have been developed to support healthcare interoperability strategy in Ireland.
  • Statement of Outcomes on Public Engagement

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