The National Healthlink Project provides an electronic messaging service which allows the secure transmission of clinical patient information between hospitals, health care agencies, clinical centres and GPs.
Healthlink is a HSE-funded service and operates under the management of eHealth Ireland.
Healthlink transfers a range of clinical information from the Mater Hospital to GPs in the community:
The two-way communication capabilities also allow GPs to send information into the hospital.
Healthlink services are free of charge to all GP practices.
Support is available from 9am – 5pm, Mon– Fri.
For further information visit www.healthlink.ie
Healthlink and the Mater Hospital Lab were the first in Ireland to offer GPs and Practice Nurses the ability to order blood tests online, replacing the manual order form. Lab Order allows users to choose from a definitive set of tests for the patient then print the order form (including a barcode) which is sent with specimens to the lab. Upon receipt in the lab, the form is scanned by the bar code reader and the order is immediately accessible on the system. There are many benefits to both GP practices and labs including elimination of illegible, incomplete order forms, electronic record of all orders placed by GP plus quicker turn around of orders and results.
The National Electronic General GP Referral Pilot Project was established in 2011 to deliver electronic general referrals, using the HIQA/ICGP standard referral template. The general referral form is integrated in the GP software systems which means that much of the patient information is auto-populated thereby cutting down on the time taken to place a referral. Acknowledgements are immediately available confirming that the form has been successfully submitted and response will be sent to the referring GP outlining triage category. The Mater hospital is the first site to go live with phase II of the referrals project having achieved full integration with PatientCentre, the hospital's Electronic Patient Record (EPR) system. The referral is no longer printed on arrival at the hospital resulting in substantial savings in administrative time due to automation of this key step in the process.
The National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP), in collaboration with Healthlink, GPIT and the HSE developed electronic referral forms for Breast, Prostate and Lung cancer. The Cancer referral forms are also integrated in the GP software. Once the referral has been submitted, an instant acknowledgement is received to confirm that it has been successfully sent. A response outlining triage and appointment information is sent to the referring GP within five working days.