IPU and eHealth Ireland launch Healthmail service for community pharmacy

30 March 2017: The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU), in a joint collaboration with eHealth Ireland, has today (Thursday 30 March) launched the Healthmail service for community pharmacy, which will allow pharmacists to communicate patient clinical information in a fully secure manner.

The new service, which will replace faxes and some phone calls, will bring primary care communications into the 21st century, promoting healthcare that is up to date, effective and consistent.

Healthmail is a secure clinical email system provided by the Office of Chief Information Officer (OoCIO) in the HSE. The initial implementation of Healthmail, which went live in November 2014, was for GPs and their support staff, allowing communication of patient identifiable clinical information with clinicians in primary and secondary care. The service is being extended to all primary healthcare providers and, in preparation for the Health Information and Patient Safety Bill, the IPU is working with eHealth Ireland to implement Healthmail in community pharmacy.

Patient Safety

In the interest of patient safety, pharmacy may use Healthmail to communicate patient information and treatment with GPs, Primary Care Teams, Community Intervention Teams, consultants and pharmacists in secondary care, ensuring the right information is going to the right recipient in a secure and timely process.

Jack Shanahan, Pharmacist and Chair of the IPU’s IT Steering Group, said, “The introduction of Healthmail will be both beneficial for pharmacists and patients. It provides pharmacists with an electronically secure mechanism for communicating with other healthcare professionals. Whether it is a list of current medications or a vaccination notification, the ability to send confidential patient information without using fax and producing reams of paper is positive progress. It is visible development in the sphere of secure communication of health information, and pharmacy is right there in the mix with this progressive initiative.”

Registration for community pharmacists for Healthmail opens on 3 April 2017.

For further information, contact: Jim Curran, Director of Communications & Strategy, IPU; Ph: 086 264 0469