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National Standards for Information Management in Health and Social Care

Status: Published on

Data and information are generated in huge volumes everyday across the health and social care system. Good data is the foundation of a high-quality health and social care service. Data should be of the highest quality and used to its full potential to promote safer better care, improved outcomes and overall wellbeing. Therefore, it is imperative that services and organisations have appropriate structures, systems, policies and procedures in place which are aligned with evidence-based standards.

HIQA has developed National Standards for Information Management in Health and Social Care that aim to contribute to safer better care by improving the management of health and social care information. These new standards will support Ireland’s health and social care system meet requirements set out under forthcoming health information legislation at both national and European level including the Health Information Bill and the European Health Data Space. The standards will also support the implementation of the Department of Health’s strategy, Digital for Care: A Digital Health Framework for Ireland 2024-2030. 

The standards are set out under four principles to ensure good information management practices: 

  • a human rights-based approach to balance the protection and rights of people with the broader societal value of data use for health; 
  • safety and wellbeing to ensure effective engagement with key stakeholders to develop and maintain data and systems for safe sharing of data for primary and secondary uses; 
  • responsiveness through taking a strategic and systematic approach to information governance to ensure that maximum benefit is achieved from data and information; and 
  • accountability by ensuring the necessary governance arrangements are in place to manage information appropriately in line with relevant legislation.

To support organisations to meet these standards, HIQA has also published three guidance documents. Together, the national standards and guidance will help to drive improvements across the health information system by setting out what is expected of services managing data and information as Ireland advances its system-wide transition to digital health.