New Zealand software company Orion Health has won an $18.5 million contract with Northern Ireland's public health service.
Auckland-based Orion Health's seven-year deal with Health and Social Care Northern Ireland involves the implementation of its Electronic Care Record (ECR) software, which allows better sharing of patient data between healthcare organisations.
The contract follows a successful pilot of the ECR in Ulster Hospital, Belfast City Hospital and two general practices in 2009 and 2010, said Orion Health chief executive Ian McCrae.
Involving 200 clinicians and more than 9000 patients, the pilot provided the business case for Orion Health to fully roll out the e-Health software across the country, he said.
"It also demonstrated that the Orion Health solution could reduce the length of clinic times, improve the quality and safety of patient services and achieve cost and efficiency savings in staff time and resources," McCrae said.
The ECR will enable health and social care professionals in Northern Ireland to access patient information, such as lab results and medications, on a web-based system.
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"It's about preserving existing systems and providing a platform that allows information to be easily accessed and shared," McCrae said.
Kicking off later this year, the software will be implemented in 18 acute and community hospitals, all GP practices, community, mental health and social care users across Northern Ireland's five regional trusts.
Northern Ireland's Health Minister Edwin Poots said he was confident the ECR system would deliver in the future for the good of everyone in Northern Ireland.