Deal to share data across primary and secondary care struck in Northern Ireland

GPs in Northern Ireland are seeking assurances that patient data will remain secure following a deal to share data across primary and secondary care.

GPs need assurances that data protection measures are in place
GPs need assurances that data protection measures are in place

Health and Social Care Northern Ireland selected Orion Health to provide the seven-year contract for the portal-based electronic care record (ECR).

The ECR is to be deployed later this year in all GP practices and acute community hospitals and for social care and mental health teams. It should include laboratory results, medicines, allergies and correspondence.

Northern Ireland GPC chairman Dr Tom Black said GPs needed assurances that data protection measures are in place and that he would be asking GP commissioners for their views at a meeting this month.

‘We need assurances that access will be by patient consent and confidentiality will be assured through an audited process,’ he said.

Orion Health said audit tools and patient privacy controls have been built into the ECR to help ensure confidentiality.

Northern Ireland health minister Edwin Poots said the implementation of the ECR was designed to improve the quality, sustainability and safety of patient and client care.

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