Rhapsody Health Solutions Team

Health and Social Care Northern Ireland chooses Rhapsody to create single, connected electronic patient records across the country 

November 8, 2022

The Department of Health in Northern Ireland will use Rhapsody to provide integration in a national digital transformation initiative —dubbed the ‘encompass’ programme.  

The initiative, which also includes the rollout of Epic across the country, aims to improve outcomes for patients across Northern Ireland by creating a single digital record for every citizen. Rhapsody will be used to integrate multiple health and social care systems containing the electronic records of thousands of patients and service users. 

As Dan West, Department of Health Chief Digital Information Officer, says: “Although Rhapsody works in the background, it ultimately helps improve frontline services for clinicians and patients”. 

The reason for Rhapsody 

Health and Social Care Northern Ireland (HSCNI) chose Rhapsody to improve the accessibility of, and trust in, health data as the country accelerates digital healthcare transformation. With Rhapsody, HSCNI can ensure the right data is in the hands of the right people at the right time. 

One aspect that attracted Northern Ireland’s Department of Health to Rhapsody is that Rhapsody is 100% dedicated to solving healthcare problems. Rhapsody has a proven track-record, having been installed in 79 separate NHS Trusts across the UK.  

Like the NHS, HSCNI is free at the point of delivery and publicly funded. The use of Rhapsody endeavours to make HSCNI more cost and time effective for the taxpaying service user and clinician. By helping future-proof HSCNI’s IT environment, Rhapsody will be part of the unseen technical layer that enables care professionals the time to focus on delivering the safest and highest quality of care to the people of Northern Ireland.  

Despite continued efforts to increase staffing numbers across HSCNI, demand for services continues to outpace that expansion. HSCNI needed to close that capacity gap, but like healthcare and digital healthcare organisations across the globe, they were experiencing the effects of national nursing staff shortages, the Great Resignation, and ongoing workforce shake-ups in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Progress towards interoperability by embedding Rhapsody across HSCNI’s information and systems, along with the roll-out of the new Epic clinical platform, can unlock the potential that exists for digital to be the future-proof solution to the resource challenges of today – least of all for the IT talent gap

Rhapsody is expected to be live in 2023 through the rollout of Epic to supply integrated electronic health records across the whole of Health and Social Care Northern Ireland (HSCNI). Rhapsody will help support Northern Ireland on its path to becoming the first UK country with a single, connected electronic patient record.  

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