News Archive - 2016

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December 2016 - MIDoc Out-Of-Hours Reports are Live

Following a successful pilot, co-op reports from out-of-hours service MIDoc, are now live. Feedback from the GP pilot group was very positive and we are pleased to rollout this service to all users in the Laois, Offaly, Longford, and Westmeath areas.


December 2016 - Endoscopy Referral Pilot

St. Vincent’s Hospital have begun a pilot of specialist electronic Endoscopy referrals. The pilot is with a group of GPs from the catchment area and will run until a defined number of referrals has been received. The Endoscopy eReferral form comprises of the existing general referral form with additional detail to facilitate triaging of Upper and Lower GI procedures. Triage responses are sent also from the Consultant team.


November 2016 - Patient Portal

We were delighted to have the opportunity to demo the prototype of MyHealthPortal to Minister Simon Harris at the Innovation Showcase in Trinity Science Gallery. Minister Harris was very impressed with the functionality and supportive of the technology which will give patients secure online access to their own health information, whenever they require it.

MyHealthPortal


November 2016 - MIDoc Pilot

Healthlink have begun a pilot of co-op reports with MIDoc, the GP out of hours service for Laois, Offaly, Longford, and Westmeath. 11 practices in the area are taking part and the pilot is expected to run for 4 weeks. After this time we will carry out a review and if deemed successful we will make these reports available to all GPs in the Midlands.


October 2016 - eReferrals Animation

An eReferral animation has been launched to demonstrate the benefits of electronic referrals for patients and clinicians alike. Click here to view.


October 2016 - Healthlink Newsletter

Click here for latest issue.


September 2016 - GPBuddy Awards 

The eReferrals project has been shortlisted for a GPBuddy award. The GPBuddy awards recognise the achievements of healthcare providers who work in collaboration to deliver an innovative primary care solution in healthcare in Ireland today. Winners will be announced on 15th September 2016. The National eReferral Rollout Project is a joint collaboration between Healthlink, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Hospitals and Primary Care working closely with OSPIP.


August 2016 - Ophthalmology Referrals

The specialist Ophthalmology referral form is now in use in Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital. The pilot began ahead of schedule on 22nd August and is available for all GPs to use via their practice software or HealthlinkOnline. When the pilot phase is complete, the service will be made available to all Ophthalmology departments in hospitals nationwide.


August 2016 - Specialist Referral Rollout

Healthlink are working on a new specialist referral form for Ophthalmology. The form is based on the national OPD General Referral form with the addition of specific questions related to Ophthalmology, in particular visual acuity. The form was agreed with the clinical lead for Ophthalmology at Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital (RVEEH) and with the Quality in Practice Committee of the ICGP. The pilot site for this service is RVEEH where the referrals will be integrated directly into the hospital’s EPR system. This means they will not have to be printed upon receipt at the hospital but can be reviewed and triaged from any PC on the network.

From the GP’s perspective the form is integrated in the 4 accredited practice management systems and also available in the HealthlinkOnline portal. Acknowledgements are available instantly once the referral has been sent and triage information will be returned from the hospital within an agreed timeframe. Patient care is improved as GPs can offer reassurance that the referral is being actioned in the hospital. Patients also benefit from a more efficient referral which is faster, safer and contains all the specific clinical information necessary for the Consultant team.

The pilot is due to begin in September. When the pilot phase is complete, this referral form will be made available to all Ophthalmology departments in hospitals nationwide. NCCP Pigmented Lesion specialist referrals are already live in 9 hospitals with a full rollout planned for 2016. "The electronic pigmented lesion GP referral form is a replica of the paper based form, but is safer and quicker to use. Feedback from hospital staff and GPs has been very positive“ Eileen Nolan, National Programme Manager, NCCP.

Healthlink have also developed a specialist Endoscopy referral form which is currently being tested. St. Vincent’s University Hospital along with St. Columcille’s and St. Michael’s Hospital, Dun Laoghaire will pilot this service. The Endoscopy form will comprise of the existing general referral form with an additional page of detail to facilitate triaging of referrals for Upper and Lower GI procedures. Similarly to Ophthalmology, once the pilot has been successfully completed it will be rolled out to GPs nationally.

“The aim when designing the NCCP Electronic referrals and National General eReferral service was to ensure there is a streamlined and national approach to all electronic referrals. The expansion of the service to meet the needs of Ophthalmology and Endoscopy is a great example of how once you’ve the ground work done correctly, other services can build upon that and be rolled out relatively quickly once they have National applicability” Gemma Garvan, Programme Delivery Director for Access to Information and Healthlink Project Manager.


August 2016 - Individual Health Identifier

In March 2015 the HSE announced that everyone in the State will be given an individual health identification number, which will uniquely and safely identify each person that has used, is using or may use a health or social care service in Ireland. Healthlink have been working with the IHI team to facilitate a proof of concept for the Individual Health Identifier in messaging and this has now been implemented. In the coming weeks IHI's will be included in electronic referrals. IHI is an eHealth Ireland strategic project which has successfully reached its defined goals on time and within budget illustrating the commitment and capability of the team for the delivery of a digital health infrastructure for Ireland.


July 2016 - Satellite Clinic using eReferrals

Congratulations to the County Clinic, Longford as they become the first satellite site live with eReferrals.  The following specialities can now be referred by GPs using their practice software or HealthlinkOnline:

The County Clinic, Longford is a satellite site for the Regional Hospital Mullingar OPD Services.


July 2016 - Finalist HMI Leaders Award 2016

Healthlink is delighted to have been named a finalist in this year's HMI Leaders Award. The awards recognise leaders who are bringing about changes in healthcare, delivering improvements in patient outcomes, enhancing service delivery and improving resource allocation. The judging panel was very impressed overall with the quality and the standards of the projects which were submitted. Congratulations to the overall winner McKesson in conjunction with the HSE for “The National Integrated Medical Imaging System (NIMIS) project.


June 2016 - New Service in Midland Regional Hospital Mullingar

NCCP Electronic Pigmented Lesion GP Referrals are live at Midland Regional Hospital Mullingar. This is the ninth hospital which has gone live with this service. There have been a total of 2,231 electronic pigmented lesion GP referrals to date. Pigmented Lesion is a specialist referral form which utilises Healthlink's integrated browser technology.


June 2016 - General Referrals Rollout Complete

We are delighted to announce that phase 1 of the National eReferral Programme is now complete and all acute hospitals can receive eReferrals from Healthlink GPs. The most recent data indicates continued strong growth in both the number of eReferrals and GPs using the system. In May there was an 11% increase over April in the number of eReferrals and the phenomenal growth of its use is due to its benefits including improved patient safety and confidence plus efficient, effective and consistent referral management resulting in significant time savings for both GPs and hospitals.


May 2016 - General Referrals Update

The National Electronic General GP Referral Project allows General Practitioners to send electronic patient referrals from within their practice management systems to public outpatient hospital departments. Over the past 12 months this service has been rolled out nationally with 47 hospitals now accepting eReferrals. The most recent sites are National Maternity Hospital Holles Street, St. James ’ s and AMNCH (Adult). St. James's have gone live with Dermatology and Gastroenterology while AMNCH have introduced Adult Surgery. Paediatric eReferrals have been in use at Tallaght Hospital for a number of years now. Both sites will expand the specialties available for electronic referral in the coming weeks.

The Mater Hospital has completed it's pilot of phase 2, integrated eReferrals. The Mater is the first site which has fully integrated referrals from GP practice management system directly to hospital EPR. The Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital is also nearing completion of it ’ s integrated referrals pilot.

Additional proposed scope for phase 2 of the project will include some specialist referrals (Endoscopy/Ophthalmology ), innovations and minor developments to improve usability and trials for use in non acute settings. Phase 3 will examine technical solutions for Hospital Group eReferrals.


May 2016 - Healthlink Newsletter

Click here for latest issue.


May 2016 - Healthlink Publishes Open Data

In June last year the  Department of Public Expenditure and Reform officially launched their national datastore data.gov.ie. The aim of this online portal is to making data held by public bodies more easily accessible online for others to reuse and share. The open data listed in data.gov.ie is published by over 80 Government Departments and Public Bodies and we are pleased to announce that Healthlink is now a contributor.  Our first open data reports just published outline Total Message Count by Year since 2007 plus Total Message Count by Type for 2015. Healthlink will continue to add additional data going forward.


May 2016 - Tech Excellence Award - Professional Team of the Year

Healthlink have been shortlisted for a 2016 Tech Excellence Award in the IT Professional Team of the Year category. 

The national Tech Excellence Awards are Ireland’s principal badge of honour in the IT industry. The programme recognises excellence not only in implementing tech solutions but also in the business of marketing and implementing technology for business.

Healthlink are delighted to have been shortlisted and for the recognition of our efforts and achievements.

Winners will be announced on 12th May 2016.


May 2016 - Rollout of eReferrals in St. Vincent's

On Monday 9th May, St. Vincent's University Hospital expanded the number of specialities available for electronic referral. Until now, only 5 departments were accepting e-referrals but the hospital has widened this out to all outpatient clinics, creating a safer, more efficient and effective referral pathway for patients.


April 2016 - Healthlink Messaging with National Maternity Hospital

Healthlink have enabled electronic referrals in the National Maternity Hospital Holles St. This is our first project with the NMH and we are delighted to work with them on rolling out this beneficial service. The two specialities available for GP referral are Obstetrics and Gynaecology.


April 2016 - eReferrals Updates

eReferrals are live in Naas General Hospital this morning, 12th April. GPs can refer to 14 specialties at the hospital from within their practice management system or on HealthlinkOnline. The specialties are as follows: General Medical, General Surgical, Orthopaedics, Endocrinology/Diabetology, Gastroenterology, Cardiology, Dermatology, Anaesthetics, Geriatrics, Rheumatology, Respiratory, Haematology, Oncology and Palliative.

There are now only 5 sites remaining in the rollout project: Children's University Hospital Temple Street, Tallaght Hospital (Adult), St. James’s, Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin and National Maternity Hospital Holles St.

Beaumont, which went live on 7th March has so far reported that 30% of referrals that month were received electronically which rose to  45% when looking at total referrals received in the first week of April. Patricia King, Medical Directorate Business Manager at Beaumont has said ”we are very happy to date with the uptake from our GPs, the quality of the referrals and how the new process overall is bedding in in the organisation”.


March 2016 - eReferrals in Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise

Electronic general referrals are live in Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise. This brings to 42 the number of sites using ereferrals. 10 specialties are available in Portlaoise: Surgical, Urology, Medical, Cardiology, Endocrinology, Paediatrics, Gynaecology, Obstetric, Haematology and Ophthalmology. GPs or practice staff can contact 01 8287115 for further information or training.


March 2016 - Pigmented Lesion Referrals in Waterford

NCCP Pigmented Lesion Referrals are now available in University Hospital Waterford. This is a specialist referral and can be sent via your Practice Management System. The Consultant team will send back a response to the referral within 5 working days outlining triage information plus a date/time of appointment (if known).


March 2016 - Healthlink Newsletter

Click here for latest issue.


March 2016 - 4th Hospital Group Live with eReferrals

Congratulations to the RCSI Hospital Group as they become the 4th hospital group live with eReferrals following the go live at Beaumont Hospital. This brings the total number of hospitals with eReferrals to 41. The most recent report available indicates continued strong growth in both the number of eReferrals and GPs using the system. In February there was a 30% increase in the number of eReferrals and the phenomenal growth of its use is due to its benefits including improved patient safety and confidence, efficient, effective and consistent referral management resulting in significant time savings for both GPs and hospitals. The RCSI Hospitals are Beaumont Hospital, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Drogheda, Connolly Hospital, Cavan General Hospital, Rotunda Hospital, Louth County Hospital and Monaghan Hospital.


March 2016 - Continued Rollout of eReferrals

On the 1st March Midland Regional Hospital Mullingar went live with general referrals. The specialties available are Cardiology, Dermatology, Diabetes, Endocrinology, General Medicine, General Surgery, Geriatric Medicine, Gynaecology, Haematology, Obstetrics, Ophthalmology, Orthopaedic, Paediatrics and Respiratory. Triage information will be returned plus a date/time of appointment if known. The next sites to go live are Our Lady's Navan and Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise.


March 2016 - Pigmented Lesion Referrals

Healthlink and the National Cancer Control Program (NCCP) have developed a specialist referral form for Pigmented Lesion cancer. This referral form is the first specialist referral form to utilise Healthlink's Integrated Browser technology.  The Integrated Browser functionality is designed to reduce the amount of development required of GP software system vendors for each new referral type. Any required changes to any form would only have to be implemented by Healthlink and it would be instantly reflected within GP systems without any development changes. 

Pigmented Lesion referrals are available in Limerick Regional, St. Vincent 's, St. James's , Roscommon County, South Infirmary Victoria Hospital, AMNCH and most recently Our Lady of Lourdes Drogheda, with a full rollout planned for 2016.

Similar to Breast, Lung and Prostate cancer referrals, a response is returned to the referring GP within 5 working days. The response contains triage information (routine/soon/urgent) plus a date/time of appointment if known. Responses can also be downloaded into the GP practice management systems.


February 2016 - Wexford General eReferrals

Wexford General Hospital have introduced electronic referrals, beginning with one specialty, General Medicine. The hospital are in the process of setting up a central referrals office and once this has been established will enable ereferrals for all other departments.


February 2016 - North East Hospitals using eReferrals

Three more hospitals are live with eReferrals. Louth County Hospital, Cavan Monaghan and Our Lady of Lourdes, Drogheda are the most recent sites to offer the electronic referral service. Response messages will be sent back to the referring GP indicating triage details and a date/time of appointment if known. The National eReferral Rollout Project is a joint collaboration between the Office of the Chief Information Officer and Healthlink and builds upon the success of a pilot that was developed and implemented in hospitals across the South/South West Hospital Group.The aim of the project is to have all hospitals accepting eReferrals by April 2016.


February 2016 - Public consultation for the Privacy Impact Assessment for the Individual Health Identifier

On February 1st, a public consultation in relation to a privacy impact assessment (PIA) for the Individual Health Identifier (IHI) commenced. The HSE is seeking feedback from both members of the public and healthcare practitioners about the protection of patients privacy when developing and operating the IHI.

Further information and options to submit feedback are available at: http://www.ehealthireland.ie/ihi-pia


February 2016 - 33 Hospitals Live with Electronic General Referrals

Electronic General Referrals are live in two additional sites, Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital and Louth County Hospital. The two specialties in Cappagh are Orthopaedics and Rheumatology while Louth have gone live with General Medicine, Endocrinology, Gynaecology, Orthopaedics, Surgery, Urology and Paediatrics.


January 2016 - Healthlink Newsletter

Click here for latest issue.


January 2016 - Electronic Referrals to Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore

Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore is the first site of the new year to go live with general referrals. 12 specialties are available to GPs: General Medical, General Surgical, Orthopaedics, ENT, Rheumatology, Nephrology, Oncology, Haematology, Ophthalmology, Obstetrics/Gynae, Paediatrics and Cardiology. Triage information will be returned via Healthlink to the referring GP plus a date/time of appointment if known.

The next sites to go live are Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital and Louth County Hospital.


January 2016 - Electronic Referrals to the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital

Healthlink have been working with a team at the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear on enabling electronic ENT referrals to the hospital. The testing phase is almost complete and we are hoping to begin a pilot in the coming weeks. The ENT referral is integrated with RVEEH's EPR system, meaning it will not have to be printed on arrival at the hospital but can be reviewed and triaged from any station on the network. Healthlink's next project with the RVEEH is the specialist Ophthalmology referral which should be live by end of Q1 2016.


January 2016 - New Message Testing

Healthlink have developed a new message, an Emergency Department Discharge Letter, which is about to go to pilot with a group of local AMNCH GPs. This message contains details such as ED clinician notes, presenting complaints, medication and referral details. This is Healthlink's 16th message alongside lab and radiology reports, discharge summaries, death notifications, OPD clinic letters, lab orders, referral messages and others.


January 2016 - eReferrals to Stop Heart Failure Unit at St. Michael's

The Stop Heart Failure unit in St. Michael's Hospital, Dun Laoghaire are accepting electronic referrals. Similar to other General Referrals these can be placed from within GP practice software and a response will be sent back to referrer within 5 working days.


January 2016 - South Labs Migration to Healthlink

Healthlink have begun a pilot of lab messaging from three hospitals in the South. Cork University, Kerry General and Bantry General Labs are sending Blood Sciences and Microbiology reports through Healthlink to 14 GP practices in the area. During the four-week pilot period the practices will compare electronic reports to hard copies to ensure there are no inconsistencies. Upon successful completion of the pilot, the service will be rolled out on a phased basis to all practices in the Southern area. This is the final lab migration project from local messaging services to Healthlink, the national messaging broker.


January 2016 - General Referrals Update

By the end of December 2015, General Referrals were live in Mayo General, Coombe Women & Infants University Hospital, South Tipperary General Hospital and UL Hospital Group. UL Hospital Group consists of University Hospital Limerick, University Maternity Hospital Limerick, Ennis Hospital, Nenagh Hospital, Croom Hospital and St. John's Hospital. This brings to 30 the number of hospitals accepting electronic general referrals and we are on target to have all sites live by April 2016.