Historically ICT systems within the HSE have been implemented on a standalone basis with no information sharing capability across siloed systems. This impacts on data quality, with different interpretations of data elements and definitions, leading to the risk of poorer decisions and poorer planning based on inaccurate information.
The HSE’s Office of the Chief Information Officer has developed a data dictionary for all national health and social care data in Ireland. This data dictionary provides the basis for information integrity. Data Dictionaries for data are useful to describe the ‘rules’ which data in a particular system need to abide by. The HSE’s National Health and Social Care Data Dictionary (NHSCDD) provides a list of key health service terms and concepts, including agreed definitions and protocols. Additional terms, concepts and metrics will be published in January and July each year as agreed by the NHSCDD Governance Board.
The HSE NHSCDD contains information about data items aligned to the ISO 11179/3 metadata standard and structured KPI’s. By standardising definitions and promoting consistency of use, the HSE NHSCDD enables conforming and comparable health information to be generated across the country, independent of the systems or organisation from which it originated. Information regarding data elements is compiled published and shared in the HSE NHSCDD. The NHSCDD is simply a container to hold, organise and disseminate the various metadata properties and make them available to everyone developing and using e-health applications.
For any new projects or applications being introduced into the HSE, the HSE NHSCDD can help with the creation of the datasets, alignment of existing datasets and assist vendors through the development of evolving datasets specifications.
The NHSCDD also enables the appendage of approved codesets to data elements and the publication of metadata content.
The NHSCDD website is structured into a number of sections available through the menu system on the left hand side. Each section has a brief summary statement explaining its purpose.
The office of the HSE CIO has developed a ‘toolkit’ to support the standardisation of data, which will help ensure that all staff in the Irish health service have access to agreed standardised definitions for medical and health service terms. This will support interoperability and integrated care. The resulting ‘data dictionary’ will be a ‘point of truth’ list for key health service terms and concepts including agreed definitions and protocols. Like all good dictionaries it will develop and evolve over time and additional terms, concepts and metrics will be added in the future.
For patients this approach will mean as the Data Dictionary evolves the right information will be available in the right place at the right time to improve patient outcomes and lead to safer better patient care. For Stakeholders in the HSE and the Department of Health this will advance the Sláintecare Implementation Plan.
The toolkit used to build the NHSCDD is called XIGT (Extended Information Governance Toolkit).This is provided to us by our Industry Partner HiveWorx. Please visit the Glossary for an explanation of key terms used in this website.
Further information on all things regarding the NHSCDD is available from firstname.lastname@example.org .
The NHSCDD will be released and updated to this website bi-annually in January and June.Over time as the NHSCDD matures HSE eHealth metadata standardisation will help you to;
- Avoid Waste by not developing similar standards
- Ensure eHealth Solutions are using the same data standardisation RULES to enable interoperability
- Stand over Quality Assurance
- Ensure Consistent and Comparable Data
- Provide a foundational building block for the shared care record and EHR