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National Standard for Electronic Patient Summary to Improve Patient Safety

The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) in Ireland has published a National Standard on information requirements for a national electronic patient summary. A national electronic patient summary contains the minimum patient information that is needed to help healthcare practitioners make more informed clinical decisions at the point of patient care. It is not the entire medical record, but the relevant set of information needed to treat a patient in unplanned care. In the future, it may be possible for the patient summary to be integrated with other eHealth systems such as a national Electronic Health Record. This National Standard defines the information requirements for an electronic patient summary for the purpose of unscheduled care, for example, out-of-hours and emergency care. The type of information included in the national electronic patient summary includes: demographics, health problems (diagnosis), medications, allergies, procedures and vaccinations. The national electronic patient summary is intended to be accessed by authorised healthcare practitioners who work in emergency departments or out-of-hours care and by the patient’s usual general practitioner. Ultimately, the patient should have access to their national electronic patient summary.

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