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Terminology standards for Ireland

HIQA has published an updated version of the Guidance on Terminology Standards for Ireland.

HIQA stated, “Terminology standards, which are a fundamental part of any eHealth ecosystem, ensure that healthcare systems understand and use data in the same way. The purpose of this guidance published today is to provide direction on terminology standards in Ireland. Based on a review of international and national best practice, this guidance provides the eHealth community in Ireland with the direction of terminology development that HIQA endorses.”

HIQA’s Director of Health Information and Standards, Rachel Flynn said: “The use of terminology standards can improve the quality of data in health and social care information systems. For patients and clinicians, there can be improvements in the accuracy and validity of information in medical records. This can enable decision support systems which check the record and provide real-time advice to clinicians when, for example, prescribing medications for a patient, thus ensuring safer better healthcare for patients”

HIQA said this guidance was being developed to inform key stakeholders such as public and private service users, vendors, purchasers and implementers of health information systems, healthcare providers, the wider health informatics community and any other interested parties about the proposed future direction of terminology standards in Ireland and to encourage wider participation in standards development.

Ms Flynn continued: “Safe, reliable healthcare depends on access to and use of information that is accurate, relevant, legible and complete. Terminology standards also support the safe exchange of health information between healthcare professions, thereby ensuring the right information is available to treating healthcare professionals. This will help patients to get the correct treatment at the appropriate time.”