NWHB to represent Ireland at eHealth Europe awards

9 May 2003

The North Western Health Board’s (NWHB) mobile computing system, which allows public health nurses to record client details, treatment and services, will represent Ireland at the 2003 eEurope Awards for eHealth this summer.

Following an evaluation of the 180 applications for the awards, the NWHB’s mobile computing system was shortlisted and chosen to showcase Ireland’s e-health initiatives. Over 30 other projects from across the EU have also been shortlisted.

Speaking to siliconrepublic.com, Damien McCallion, director of information systems, NWHB, was delighted with the announcement: “We are very pleased that we were selected and we were encouraged by the Department of Health to put the project forward.”

The mobile computing system allows public health nurses to record client details, treatment and services using a Hewlett-Packard Jornada handheld device and has been rolled out in Donegal and will also be deployed in Sligo and Leitrim..

“”The key benefit of the system is understanding what services public health nurses are delivering, ensuring that the right patient gets the right service.” says McCallion. “Because, again like all areas in health service, prioritisation is key. So, it is critical for individual public health nurses and the relevant managers to understand where the time should be spent, what groups need more or less time than others and the first phase of the mobile computing system is concentrating on that.”

The European Commission and the European Institute of Public Administration are evaluating the applications and organising the awards ceremony, which will be held in Greece this May. It will bring together European ministers, including Ireland’s Health Minister, Micheál Martin TD, and senior policy makers both from the telecom and health sector on 22-23 May to discuss information and communications technologies in the healthcare sector.

The European Commissioner for Enterprise and Information Society will present the eEurope award for the most outstanding eHealth solutions.

IT projects from Beaumont Hospital, the Eastern Health Shared Services, the General Medical Services Payments Board, the National Healthlink Project, the Southern Health Board and St Luke’s Hospital also applied to the awards.

It is understood that Ireland is to host the 2004 eEurope Awards for eHealth in Cork City. This is being co-ordinated by the Health Services Executive.

By Lisa Deeney