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What is encompass?

The encompass programme is a HSC-wide initiative that will introduce a digital integrated care record to Northern Ireland. This will support the HSCNI vision to transform health and social care in order to improve health outcomes and create better experiences for those receiving, using and delivering services.

HSCNI currently uses lots of different systems which cannot easily, or just can’t, communicate with each other. Many of them are old and need to be replaced. This gives us an opportunity, rather than continuing to rely on paper records and replacing outdated technology system by system, to better use the investment needed in ICT to transform the way we care for people in Northern Ireland.

In many countries outside of Northern Ireland, health and care organisations are using digital technology to transform their services. The digital revolution has transformed other sectors, such as how we shop, how we travel and how we bank: health and social care is now catching up.

What does this mean for me?

It means that everyone involved in your care will have access to your health and care information from one record. Your health and care information will be securely available to the health and care professionals looking after you at the right time and right place. These will include care plans, test results, medication records, communication and mobility needs and appointments – all needed to ensure you get the best care.

It means that people can also access their own information and use the system to communicate with their health and social care team, view test results and manage appointments.

It means that health and care staff won’t have to enter the same data on different systems and in paper records and forms and can make better use of their time. It means that we can provide guidance and support for decision making at the point of care, helping to ensure that we can provide people with the highest standards of care, equitably, across Northern Ireland.

Watch our short animation to find out more about the benefits of a new digital care record.

What about the NIECR, doesn’t it join records together?

The Northern Ireland Electronic Care Record (NIECR) has transformed the informed delivery of healthcare throughout HSCNI. It has achieved this by storing, retrieving and combining millions of messages daily from multiple, disparate clinical information systems to create the single best view of a patient/client’s contacts, treatments and outcomes in HSCNI.  However, it still relies on the existence of multiple systems to create the patient/client record, many of which require replacing.

Who is leading the initiative?

Led by professionals from across HSC in Northern Ireland who have a wealth of experience in leading the delivery of digitally enabled transformation within and across HSCNI, the encompass team are supported by communications, legal and procurement specialists, and patient representatives.

The programme is supported by all five of the Health and Social Care Trusts, the Public Health Agency, BSO, the Health and Social Care Board, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and the Department of Health.

Dr Michael McBride, Chief Medical Officer, is the Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) of the programme.

The encompass programme has now been given approval by the Department of Health to proceed to procurement.

There will be many opportunities for HSC staff and service users to get involved to help shape procurement and selection of such a large scale solution.

For more information please see Frequently Asked Questions

If you are a member of HSC staff and wish to get involved in the programme, please contact your organisational encompass lead.

Belfast Health and Social Care Trust –  Angela.Mervyn@belfasttrust.hscni.net

Northern Health and Social Care TrustStephanie.Tohill@northerntrust.hscni.net

Southern Health and  Social Care TrustMark.Toal@southerntrust.hscni.net

South Eastern Health and Social Care TrustSean.Dooher@setrust.hscni.net

Western Health and  Social Care  TrustPaula.McGuinness@westerntrust.hscni.net