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Orion Health wins over Ireland's public health system

Orion Health has landed a seven-year contract worth £9 million ($18 million) to provide software to Northern Ireland's public health service.

Orion Health has landed a seven-year contract worth £9 million ($18 million) to provide software to Northern Ireland's public health service.

Health and Social Care Northern Ireland (HSCNI) chose Orion following a pilot in Ulster Hospital Dundonald, the Belfast City Hospital and two general practices in 2009 and 2010.

Orion's portal-based Electronic Care Record (ECR) technology will cover a population of more than 1.8 million people, enabling the sharing of patient data from multiple existing information systems across acute, community, primary health and social care. 

"It’s about preserving existing systems and providing a platform that allows information to be easily accessed and shared, which can only be a good thing,” said Charles Scatchard, Orion Health’s international president.

The ECR will be deployed in 18 hospitals and all GP practices, community, mental health and social care users in Northern Ireland, starting later this year.

"It is about improving the quality, sustainability and safety of patient and client care. I am confident that the Electronic Care Record system will assist in developing a sustainable health care system that delivers now and will continue to deliver in the future for the good of everyone in Northern Ireland," said Ireland's health minister Edwin Poots.

Dr Carolyn Harper, the HSCNI project sponsor, said the initial pilot made for a strong business case.

"The Electronic Care Record received a very positive reaction from frontline staff as it delivered the patient benefits we had anticipated, and is intuitive to use. We learned valuable lessons from the pilot project and are looking forward to a smooth rollout across the country.”