According to Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann, the project once implemented will put an end to the days of heavily depending on paper patient records.
The Encompass programme is a Health and Social Care (HSC) initiative that calls for the introduction of a digital, integrated health and care record to Northern Ireland. The goal of the initiative is that a patient’ health and care information will be available to those who require it in one digital record.
The creation of digital care records is expected to deliver important benefits for the public and also healthcare staff in the country. The project is part of a planned £300m ICT investment from Northern Ireland over a period of 10 years that will generate 200 new jobs.
The digital care record will store all the medical notes pertaining to the patient, his or her prescribed medicines, tests ordered and referrals made and received. The initiative is anticipated to dramatically change how healthcare staff and patients interact as well.
The country’s health ministry said that the awarding of the contract follows four years of planning and business case processes and eventually a completed competitive tender.
The contract will see Epic Systems working together with Encompass, HSCNI frontline staff, operational management, and patients and carers to create digital care records for all the citizens and for facilitating the digital transformation of the workflows and services.
Robin Swann said: “We are calling time on the current situation of multiple, ageing digital systems and a large reliance on the paper record. This investment will improve outcomes for our patients and service users by making it easier for our HSC professionals to deliver sustainable, high quality care, improved efficiencies and greater collaboration across all care settings.”