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Going digital: Rollout begins for e-health records from babies' birth

The new system is the first national electronic patient chart for maternity anywhere in the world.

unnamed Baby Emily with her mum Ellen Shine and Professor John Higgins, Consultant Obstetrician at Cork University Maternity Hospital. Source: John Sheehan

OVER THE WEEKEND, Emily was born – one of Ireland’s first newborns to have their own electronic health record from birth.

Weighing 7lb 5oz, Emily was born to Ellen and Aidan in Cork University Maternity Hospital last Saturday 3 December.

Her birth heralds the introduction of an electronic health record for all women and babies in maternity services in Ireland – the nationwide system being a world first.

Ireland’s Maternal & Newborn Clinical Management System (MN-CMS) will allow clinical record information to be shared with relevant providers of care when needed.

The introduction of the system in Cork University Hospital is the first phase of the three-year roll-out, with the next implementation due in University Hospital Kerry followed by The Rotunda Hospital and the National Maternity Hospital.

Commenting on the e-birth certs, Minister for Health Simon Harris said he was looking forward to the further roll-out of electronic records for all citizens in the immediate years ahead.

This will support better, safer clinical decision-making and a more connected health service delivering improved health outcomes.

“For our citizens to experience a truly joined up health service then the health system will need to weave a digital fabric that supports health and wellbeing as well as integrated care.”

World first

shutterstock_120651157 Source: Shutterstock

The introduction of this new system in Ireland also marks the introduction of the first national electronic patient chart for maternity anywhere in the world.

This means that every maternity hospital in one country will be using the same electronic chart with standardisation of the information flow and collection with very obvious advantages for the patient and carers.

Professor Richard Greene, Consultant Obstetrician, Cork University Maternity Hospital said the system includes maternity early warning scores and a sepsis early warning scoring system, eprescribing and order communication tools for mother and baby patient care.

The HSE has a contract with Cerner to deliver the Maternal & Newborn Clinical Management System (MN-CMS) which will then be rolled out to all 19 maternity units over a three year period. The implementation of MN-CMS will be the first instance of any Electronic Health Record (EHR) system on a shared record basis in the Irish healthcare system.

The system has been specifically tailored for the Irish healthcare system with clinicians completing a full clinical validation of the design and build of the MN-CMS.

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