New electronic patient records system launched at Tallaght Hospital

22 Feb 2022

From left: Kainos senior vice-president Paul Gannon, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, TD, and EPR programme manager at TUH Ciara Blair. Image: Shane O’Neill/Coalesce

Minister Stephen Donnelly said streamlined patient care is a ‘key component’ for Sláintecare and IT is a ‘critical enabler’ of change.

Tallaght University Hospital (TUH) has launched an electronic patient records (EPR) system to help streamline patient information and speed up its services.

The new system, called Synergy, is designed to help healthcare staff access the records of a patient in a single-view system, showing details such as test results, medications and discharge summaries. The records can show details from the multiple departments that can be involved during a patient’s time in hospital.

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The development was welcomed by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, TD, who said the delivery of streamlined care is a “key component” for Sláintecare, the Government’s initiative towards implementing a universal healthcare model in Ireland.

“IT is a critical enabler of this transformative change,” Donnelly said. “I look forward to further improvements such as this, as Ireland’s healthcare system takes full advantage of the opportunities presented by the roll-out of new technology.”

EPR programme manager at TUH Ciara Blair added that Synergy has taken a number of systems that “struggled to integrate” with each other and “streamlined the flow of information” to benefit the hospital’s staff.

“One colleague recently told me how they saved three hours when validating waiting lists, and how that freed them up to complete other tasks instead,” Blair said. “Ultimately, this will benefit all patients of the hospital, whether they attend the main campus or any of our community locations.”

TUH CEO Lucy Nugent added: “We see this as the start of our journey and the long-term goal of facilitating home and community care using the system, in line with Sláintecare’s health transformational policy, and are keen to share our learnings with other healthcare providers in the country.”

Synergy was developed by Belfast-based software and IT company Kainos, which based the system on the Evolve Cloud platform.

“We have designed the system at TUH to be agile and operate according to what works best for the TUH team and their patients,” Kainos CEO Brendan Mooney said. “Removing the need to search and rely on paper records saves valuable time for healthcare workers, giving them more time to provide direct patient care.”

The gradual roll-out of Synergy took place throughout 2021, despite the challenges Ireland’s health service faced during a serious cyberattack that occurred last May.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic