Digital Health and Care Northern Ireland (DHCNI) is the data and technology lead to the Health and Social Care (HSC) system in Northern Ireland.
Our mission is to harness the power of data and digital technology to improve health and care for every patient, client and citizen, while improving working practices for all HSC staff.
DHCNI sets out to develop the vision and strategy for Digital Transformation in Health and Social Care, to direct and oversee the central budget for Digital investments and work in partnership with, and commission projects and services from, the Business Services Organisation.
DHCNI also aims to bring together the disparate digital functions across the six HSC Trusts:
Digital Health and Care Northern Ireland is led by the Department of Health and is an amalgamation of the Health and Social Care Board’s former eHealth and Care Directorate and the Public Health Agency’s Centre for Connected Health and Social Care. DHCNI directs and oversees the central budget for digital investments, works in partnership with the Business Services Organisation (BSO) and other suppliers to commissions projects and services.
DHCNI works to bring together the disparate digital functions across the six Health Trusts in Northern Ireland, collaborating to develop a regional wide strategy.
The purpose of DHCNI will include:
In a response to capability analysis, Chief Digital Information Officer (CDIO) Dan West, has instigated a process to redefine the roles and structures of the PHA Centre for Connected Health and Social Care and the HSCB eHealth and Care Directorate.
The image shows the 15 capability areas in the new DHCNI Operating Model, with existing resources and managers already allocated into these capabilities in a collaborative and transparent role mapping process.
Technology is already transforming the way we live our lives – at home, in how we interact socially and at work. Technology offers massive potential to realise our ambitions to shift the focus of our health and care system from crisis intervention towards prevention, enablement and supported self-management as outlined in Health and Wellbeing 2026 – Delivering Together launched in October 2016 by the Department of Health.
Taking on board the progress made since the launch of the regional eHealth and Care strategy in March 2016, it is recognised that the time is right to refocus and consolidate our digital and information approach to health and social care delivery.
Through Digital Health, we will empower people to be more active in their own care and support health and social care staff in delivering the best possible health and wellbeing for everyone.
Digital health will be valued if it supports equitable and universal access to quality health and care services; ensures the sustainability of our services, improves the quality and experience of care; and strengthens the health of our population through the scaling up of health promotion, disease prevention, diagnosis, management, rehabilitation and palliative care.
In addition digital health will enable health and social care staff to have the right information in the right place at the right time to ensure effective, efficient and safe decision making. The vision further seeks to enhance research, innovation and collaboration across sectors. It recognises that digital health can be a game-changer as it improves the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of care, allowing for new models in the delivery of services.
This strategy will set out an ambitious plan for HSC to exploit, new and emerging technologies and apply these to health and social care. Digital services will not wholly replace traditional ways of working but provide a real choice to those who prefer to use technology.
The approach outlined in this strategy will:
In short this strategy aims to digitally empower citizens by digitally enabling care professionals and digitally equipping the system.