Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) has launched an eHealth Ireland website as a common platform for its plans to implement digital services across the country’s healthcare system. 

The website is part of a wider drive towards eHealth in Ireland. The country published an eHealth Strategy in 2013, followed by the creation of the Knowledge and Information plan, which acts as a roadmap for the next 5 years of digital health implementation. It also passed the Health Identifiers Act in 2014, which gives patients unique identifying numbers for use across healthcare services. 

The eHealth Ireland website will include information on these strategies, how clinicians are engaged with the programme, and case studies of successful eHealth projects in Ireland.

eHealth potential

Jim Breslin, secretary general for the department of health, says: "The potential of digital technologies to transform service delivery is widely recognised in private and public sectors across the world. 

“Progress in adopting such systems has not been as great as might initially have been expected, mainly due to the complexity of healthcare delivery itself. But the best health care systems are now using eHealth technologies to put patients and their information at the centre of health service delivery; supporting new care models, enhancing quality, promoting population health and achieving greater efficiency.”

But he acknowledges that “more needs to be done” in Ireland.

“eHealth will play a critical enabling role in healthcare reforms including financial reform, the formation of hospital groups and the service reforms that will underpin community based care models.”