Causeway Chronicle

Date set for Northern Trust patient record revolution

Northern Trust Chief Executive Jennifer Welsh pictured with regional encompass colleagues Dr Raied Abdul-Karim and Dr Dermot Hughes, and Neil Martin, Divisional Director of Strategic Planning, Performance and ICT.

The Northern Health and Social Care Trust will be waving goodbye to paper records this autumn when it goes live with a new electronic patient record system on 7 November 2024.

The Northern Trust will be the third HSC Trust in Northern Ireland to implement encompasswhich will create a single, digital care record for every citizen.

Jennifer Welsh, Northern Trust Chief Executive, said: “Following in the footsteps of our colleagues in South Eastern Trust and Belfast Trust – who will go live with encompass in June – we are really excited to be on our own encompass journey as we prepare for this major milestone in the delivery of health and social care for our community.

“encompass will transform how we deliver our services; it will give staff and clinicians instant access to a patient’s care record, reducing time spent chasing records and completing paperwork. It will provide real-time, up to date information to all those involved in caring for patients, empowering them to make efficient, effective, patient-centred decisions.”

The encompass programme is powered by software provider Epic, a proven technology which is used globally by other healthcare providers.

Ms Welsh added: “This is a once-in-a-generation moment for digital transformation in healthcare. Replacing outdated systems, encompass will support our commitment to driving continued improvements of quality and consistency across our services.

“I think it’s important to say, however, that while the way we do things will change, the ‘how’ we do things in the Northern Trust will not; we remain committed to our vision of providing compassionate care with our community, in our community.”

Planning for the implementation of encompass within the Northern Trust is already underway. Staff from the Northern Trust supported regional colleagues in South Eastern Trust in November 2023, when it became the first Trust to go-live with the encompass rollout.

Belfast Trust has confirmed it will introduce encompass in June 2024.

Dr Dermot Hughes, Senior Responsible Officer for encompass said: “It is always an exciting step for a Trust to agree an implementation date for encompass. By the time Northern Trust goes live, the encompass system will have been in place at South Eastern Trust for a full year and in the Belfast Trusts for some four months.

“The lessons learned and the knowledge gained, through the implementations at both Trusts, will be brought to bear at Northern Trust. This will improve the experience for staff and service users.”

Dr Hughes added: “encompass has been developed with input from clinical professionals across Northern Ireland and builds on work from centres of excellence in the UK and worldwide. It will ensure healthcare in 

Northern Ireland is technology enabled to improve care, improve access to care and better support patient and client experience of care.”

Causeway Chronicle

Causeway Chronicle