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Electronic care records launched in Northern Ireland

28 June 2013

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An electronic care record (ECR) system, a way of allowing doctors and other healthcare professionals to view key information on patients in their care, was has been launched in Northern Ireland.

The ECR will bring together relevant patient data from existing health and social care systems, enabling the vital sharing of information so that patients can have the best care possible.

Dr Brian Dunn, GP and BMA Northern Ireland spokesperson on IT, said,

“It is important that records through the ECR are available for doctors working in both out of hours (OOH) and A&E so that patient care is made safer, particularly when it comes to significant events in their past medical history, any history of allergies and a record of their medication.

“ECR is for patient care only and patient confidentiality is safeguarded”.

Dr Paul Darragh, Chairman of the BMA in Northern Ireland added: “As doctors, we would wish to ensure that patients have their confidentiality protected and records will only be accessed on a need to know basis.

“We are pleased that, in line with BMA policy, doctors will only be able to access the records with patient consent.

“We also welcome the fact that there will be an audit trail of the ECR records accessed”.