Northern Ireland plans to become the first U.K. region to use a single integrated medical and social care record. Epic’s software will be used for hospital care, allied health, home care, elder care, childcare, and other social services. Encompass, the Northern Ireland Programme to introduce the new system, will replace a patchwork of legacy systems and paper.
“Every citizen will have one health and social care record,” said Gary Loughran, director of encompass. “Doctors, nurses, and social workers can see social information, such as job loss or lack of transportation, which can be barriers to a patient’s health. When a patient is discharged from hospital, information in the patient’s chart can be used to make recommendations to social services or home care. We will be able to provide better care as a team to help our citizens stay well.”
The system will also help reduce costs associated with maintaining and connecting multiple systems. Epic provides a highly interoperable network to connect with NHS Trusts and other care organisations so clinicians in Northern Ireland have a more complete picture of their patient’s health.
“By offering citizens a single health and social care record, Health and Social Care Northern Ireland will be able to transform the way care is provided and how patients participate in their care,” said Epic President Carl Dvorak. “This will help improve outcomes for patients and allow care providers to work together more effectively and efficiently.”