Updated electronic health messaging standard

HIQA has published an updated electronic health messaging standard which allows GPs to communicate with hospitals in a structured way. The General Practice Messaging Standard, which plays an important role in the development of eHealth, has been updated and builds on a previous standard. It specifies the structure and content of electronic messages for health and social care.

The updated Standard defines new messaging requirements in areas such as sharing of antenatal care records between GPs and hospital clinics, defining the structured clinical information that should be shared between healthcare practitioners about women attending antenatal care appointments. It also defines requirements for radiology ordering, emergency department and outpatient clinic letters and the electronic messaging of certain cardiology results to general practitioners.

It aims to standardise the transmission of these electronic messages between general practices, hospitals and out-of-hours care, making accurate information available in a timelier manner to healthcare practitioners providing patient care, leading to safer better care for patients.

HIQA’s Director of Health Information and Standards Rachel Flynn said: “This Standard addresses the need to standardize information shared between GPs and other health professionals, such as hospital consultants, leading to reduced errors in information flow and better outcomes for patients. It supports improving the flow of information at important times in the care pathway such as referring and discharging patients, and it facilitates shared care among healthcare practitioners”.