New platform launched in Ireland shares insights into performance of the health service

The Department of Health in Ireland has announced the launch of a new online platform which will “monitor health outcomes and support continued improvements in Ireland’s health service”, as well as keeping the public informed about the state of public health and the performance of the health service overall.

The launch of the Health System Performance Assessment (HSPA) platform, which the Department is referring to as “an innovative new online visual health data monitoring tool”, sees the publication of data covering a range of key areas, including life expectancy, level of access to health services and quality of care.

The Irish government says that the website is “becoming an essential assessment platform for many countries”, with the World Health Organization and EU involved in encouraging the setting up and adoption of country-specific HSPAs worldwide.

At present, 185 of the proposed 268 HSPA indicators have been populated with “reliable and quality data”, and these form part of 5 defined dimensions, 16 domains, and 37 sub-domains. The platform will continue to be developed with additional indicators and functionality.

In terms of usability, the platform allows users to access an interactive table of contents, search for key terms or indicators, and conduct data downloads into a .csv file format.

Recently on HTN we covered HSC Northern Ireland’s digital strategy for 2022-2030, which highlighted an aim of “optimising and customising existing resources to meet needs and to collect more data which can be used to improve services” and to “build agile teams of data professionals to use data in innovative new ways”.

Public opinion on data sharing is something that has regularly featured on HTN, where we recently covered the National Data Guardian programme and views on health data sharing. Some of the challenges identified in the article include the potential for data usage to benefit some groups of people but not others, and public attitudes toward the use of their data for different purposes.

Looking to the NHS, a national survey of public opinion on sharing health data to support clinical care and research found public support for controlled NHS data sharing, Here, 89 percent supported a central NHS mechanism that allowed people to choose how their information was shared. Dr Rudolf Cardinal, study lead and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough FT honorary consultant, was quoted as saying people were “generally happy for de-identified data to be shared to the NHS, universities, and research charities”, and that “interestingly, support for data sharing increased during the pandemic”.

View the Health System Performance Assessment (HSPA) platform here.