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Healthcare workers 'should be tracked'

The Health Information and Quality Authority wants every healthcare worker to be assigned a unique number which will follow them throughout the course of their career.

Image: [File photo] John Birdsall/John Birdsall/Press Association Images

THE HEALTH INFORMATION and Quality Authority has announced details of plans to introduce a tracking system for healthcare workers in Ireland.

Under the system, every health and social care practitioner – there are more than 141,000 currently registered in Ireland – will be assigned a unique number, called a Health Practitioner Identifier, which will follow them throughout the course of their career.

The tracking system will follow them if they change post or move to a new location.

Professor Jane Grimson, who’s Director of Health Information with HIQA said:

We have previously recommended the introduction of unique identifiers for individuals so that high quality and reliable healthcare which ensures maximum patient safety can be ensured. However, equally important is a national system for uniquely identifying healthcare practitioners and organisations.

HIQA wants the upcoming Health Information Bill to provide for the introduction of a central directory or database to act as a single reference point, which will “allow the tracking and tracing of practitioners throughout the system”.

It’s envisaged that an agency will be assigned the task of governing, implementing and maintaining the directory.

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A full report on the proposed system is available on the HIQA website.

About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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