Stories of our impact

Digital baby

As increasing demand places unprecedented pressures on health and social care services in the developed world, health systems are struggling to deliver high-quality care on ever-tighter budgets. Health leaders have long seen technology as the answer, but there is still a perception that the industry is a late adopter. One team at Deloitte set out to help healthcare providers in Ireland change that.

From paper to online

In the Republic of Ireland, an ambitious programme has been set up to help the country use technology to improve citizens’ health and wellbeing, with a new government body, eHealth Ireland, tasked with its delivery.

One of the first initiatives delivered is an electronic health record (EHR) for all women and babies, giving every child born in Ireland a digital record from birth - a world first. Moving away from paper, this new clinical management system allows clinicians to record information accurately, improve communication and help with evidence-based decisions, leading to improved care for patients.

A Deloitte team from Ireland, the US and the UK have been working with the Health Service Executive (HSE) and eHealth Ireland since September 2016, to introduce the new system at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) and University Hospitals Kerry (UHK).

Helping hospital staff

Our role at both sites ranged from providing assistance to manage the programme’s challenging timelines, to working with the HSE team to ensure staff were able to continue to do their jobs throughout the transition and after the programme went live. In UHK, we assisted with the scheduling and management of training for over 330 staff, including consultants, non-consultant hospital doctors, midwives, nurses, physiotherapists and admin staff. In addition, we organised events and communications to ensure critical messages were rolled out to all staff at both sites.

We also advised the hospitals on testing, assessing mitigations and ensuring any issues were identified and resolved before the go-live date. Above all, as is often the case in health technology projects, we worked as part of a close team with the client and the software provider to get the best result. We provided rigour and insight from our experience of problem-solving in major technology projects and were central to keeping the timings on track. The project was successfully delivered, launching at CUMH in December 2016 and UHK in March 2017, with 17 more sites due to take the system live over a further three phases.

A staff nurse at University Hospitals Kerry said: “Before the introduction of the maternity and newborn system, significant time was spent writing and rewriting baby details. Now details are entered once and populated where required, eliminating the need for duplication of data entry.” The medical records team agreed: “Removing the need to create paper mother and baby charts has already, on day two, created time savings making us more efficient and we now feel able to deliver information that will assure safer care.”