encompass in South Eastern Trust

5th October 2023

What is encompass?

  • encompass will allow Health and Social Care NI (HSCNI) to provide patients and service users with the safest, highest quality of care that is possible.
  • encompass is an HSCNI wide initiative which will introduce a new nationwide
    integrated care record for every citizen in Northern Ireland.
  • An electronic health care record (EHCR), electronic patient record (EPR) or electronic health record (EHR) is a single, digital record for each person which records their health and social care needs.
  • General Practice in Primary Care is currently not within the scope of the encompass programme. GPs however will have access to encompass via EpicCare Link. EpicCare Link is an online read-only view of a person’s electronic health record. GPs and Non-Trust clinicians can view patient records, place referrals and radiology orders.
  • encompass is the programme. Epic is the system. The electronic record system is provided by Epic, a proven technology used globally. Epic is considered a global leader in this field.
  • The programme is led by Senior Responsible Officer, Dr Dermot Hughes.
    Dr Raied Abdul-Karim is the Programme Director.
  • The encompass team is comprised of staff from across many HSCNI disciplines. The regional team is working closely with Trust colleagues to implement encompass on a Trust by Trust basis. HSCNI staff have partnered with Epic’s expertise to build encompass as a new system unique to NI.

When is encompass being rolled out?

  • South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust (SET) will be the first Trust to Go-Live with the roll out of encompass on November 9th 2023.
  • Belfast Health and Social Care Trust (BHSCT) is scheduled for the Spring of 2024.
  • All Trusts are scheduled to be live by mid-2025.

Why are we doing this?

  • Northern Ireland currently uses lots of different systems which cannot easily,
    communicate with each other. Many of these systems are old and require
    replacement. Rather than continuing to rely on paper records and replacing
    technology on a system-by-system basis, we are implementing encompass, in order to have one single patient record and to rebuild the way we care for people.
  • This clinical transformation for care providers, patients and service users make
    Health & Social Care in Northern Ireland more sustainable in the future, It will create an effective, safe and world class experience for our patients, service users and staff.

What progress is being made on implementation

  • The South Eastern Trust will be the first Trust to Go-Live with encompass on November 9th 2023.
  • Staff training has been continuing in earnest and a number of staff have volunteered to be Super Users. They will be able to give help and support to their colleagues, if required.
  • When encompass is being implemented, patients arriving in our hospitals will see many more staff helping us, as the South Eastern Trust moves from a paperless system to the digital encompass programme. Patients may also see staff using devices which look like mobile phones. They are using these devices in order to access patient records and input information.
  • As the South Eastern Trust implements the new digital system, there may be some disruption to our services. This is because our staff will be getting used to encompass. We are asking everyone to be patient as we implement this new way of working. The new system will improve patient safety and change the way health and social care is delivered in the future.
  • In time patients and service users will be able to securely access their patient records on an app on their mobile phone or computer devices called ‘MyCare’. This will allow patients to book appointments, access information and communicate with HSC staff providing their care.
  • When encompass is implemented, the South Eastern Trust will be able to send text message reminders to patients about their hospital appointments, if they have a mobile phone.
  • In due course encompass will go live across all of Children’s Social Services and Healthcare in Prison.

Where can I find out more information?