Annex B - ICT Programme - work programme
new systems and services have been delivered since 2005, several systems and services are at implementation
stage and others are planned over the new few years. The following is a summary of some of these new systems and services:-
+ Care Number index
The Health + Care Number index provides
a unique number for everyone using HSC services in Northern Ireland. This index is electronically linked to all of the major HSC ICT systems. Comprehensive use of this unique identifier is fundamental to creating service wide electronic care
records as this number is the main link between records held on different ICT systems.
– Northern Ireland Picture Archiving and Communications System
enables images such as X-rays and scans to be stored electronically and viewed on video screens, so
that doctors and other health professionals can access the information and compare it with previous
images at the touch of a button.
NIPACS technology allows
for a near filmless process, with all of the flexibility of digital systems. It takes away the need to distribute images manually; images can viewed at one, or across several, HSC
locations, enabling clinicians and care teams working together to view common information and so speeding
up diagnosis. NIPACS also removes all the costs associated with hard film and releases valuable space currently used
for storage. Most importantly, however, NIPACS has the potential to transform patients’ experience of the care they
receive across the HSC.
This system is giving GP Out-of-Hours Centres and
A&E departments access to information about patient medications and allergies. This information is extracted from the patient’s GP records system and is used at the point of care. Previously doctors did not have access to this information and had to rely on the patient’s recollection
of his/her medication. The rollout of the system across NI will be completed during 2011.
Care Records (ECR)
Electronic Care Records are central to
HSC reform and will transform the way that health and social care is managed. This service will provide an individual electronic care record for every patient in NI. It will give authorised health and care professionals access to service user information where and when
it is needed. A very successful proof of concept pilot was conducted during 2010. By the end of the pilot, more than
200 clinical staff in the Ulster and Belfast City hospitals were using the system. A business case is in preparation for the procurement and implementation of a NI wide Electronic Care
Record system. The current timescale for beginning NI wide rollout is mid 2012. This system will subsume the functionality
provided by the Emergency Care Summary.
The Bowel Screening Information Management
System crown copyright software developed by Health Solutions Wales, was implemented in Northern Ireland
in April 2010 to support the functions of the Call/Recall centre, bowel screening laboratory, pre-assessment
in selected endoscopy units and the recording of management outcomes for screening participants. The call/recall centre is based in the BSO, Franklin Street, Belfast, linked to the existing Cervical
Screening Centre and also provides a helpline facility to the programme.
Patient Pathways System (Capps)
Capps is a regional cancer
care information system to monitor cancer waiting times and assure the timeliness of access to diagnosis
and treatment services for cancer patients in accordance with the access standards. Capps is used routinely at Cancer multidisciplinary team meetings to assist in rapid decision on the
patient’s care and treatment plan. Capps was developed with very significant input from the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry.
Management Technology project
This system will be implemented
in 2011 to support the Medicines Management initiatives being introduced across the HSC and prepare
for the introduction of electronic prescribing. This project will modernise the hospital pharmacy ICT systems so they can support the necessary interfaces
and functionality and a set of robotics systems for the larger pharmacies in the HSC.
The Theatre Management System has been
implemented in all operating theatres in NI with the exception of theatres in Musgrave Park and the
Royal Victoria hospitals. The core system has been in place for some time and provides functionality to manage theatres and schedule
theatre sessions. Other modules, which add significant value, such as Stock Control, Surgeon’s Assistant and CSSD are
at implementation stage and will be implemented during 2011.
The regional Data Warehouse is an important
service provided by the HSC Business Services Organisation, that will protect the confidentiality of
patients and will provide timely, pseudonymised patient-based data and information for purposes other
than direct clinical care, including:
- planning and
- public health and research;
audit and governance;
- benchmarking; and
Data is routinely extracted from operational
systems across the HSC and loaded into the data warehouse. The data warehouse is used by staff at Trust, HSCB and DHSSPS levels. Access to the data is strictly
controlled and where necessary the data is anonymised or pseudonymised. Each “type” of user has access to only the data that he/she is permitted to have access to.
All GP practices in Northern Ireland are now connected
to the secure HSC data network. This network allows diagnostic test results (Radiology and Pathology) to be transferred electronically
from Trust based diagnostic departments directly to the GP practice patient record system. All GP practices now have access to secure e-mail and have access to the internet.
This system will provide the technology
for referrals from Primary Care to Secondary Care to be made electronically. Initially this service will be only available for GP referrals to consultant led services in acute hospitals
although the technology will support referrals from any service to any other service. The system uses Crown Copyright software developed by NHS Scotland where it is used to support the vast
majority GP referrals. As well as speeding up the time that it takes for a referral to get from the GP practice to the hospital,
the system will allow the introduction of structured referral protocols, ensuring that the referrer
provides the required dataset to support the referral. Implementation will begin early in 2011.
Payment Calculation and Analysis System (PCAS)
is similar to the English QMAS system. It is a single, NI wide IT system, which gives GP practices and the HSCB objective evidence and feedback
on the quality of care delivered to patients. The system shows how well each practice is doing, measured against national achievement targets detailed
in the General Medical Services (GMS) contract, which sets out the way GPs work and the way they are
As GP practices are rewarded financially
according to the quality of care they provide, it is essential that the payment rules that underpin
the GMS contract are implemented consistently across all systems and all practices in the UK. PCAS ensures that this is achieved. PCAS allows GP practices to analyse the data they collect about the number of services and the quality
of care they deliver, such as maternity services or chronic disease management clinics. This provides a positive incentive for GPs to treat patients in the community rather than referring
them to hospital for treatment such as diagnosis or minor operations.
above summaries were prepared at a point in time. For the latest update on ICT Programme Projects, please refer to the HSC ICT Programme