Howard calls for ‘smart’ thinking about medical records

EFFORTS should be made to facilitate the process of informing health professionals when people need emergency care.

Councilor Mary Howard suggests creating “smart ID cards” so that when people need care, their medical records can be easily and quickly accessed.

At the July local authority meeting, the Fine Gael MP called for Health Minister Stephen Donnelly to be called in to investigate the matter.

“These smart ID cards would contain information such as date of birth, PPS number, allergies, health conditions, surgeries, etc., which would be particularly useful if they have to go to the hospital. or A&E,” Councilor Howard’s motion said.

Councilor Howard told the council meeting that she heard about the idea through the HSE West regional health forum.

“They would be really similar to the PPS card,” she explained. “People don’tt get sick, especially those who are infirm, 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Often they are upset, in pain or brought in by a neighbor.

“Having something with a person’s name, address and medical history would be ideal. People often suffer while waiting for emergency care and in Limerick, as we know, they don’tI don’t even have the dignity of privacy.

Seconding the motion, Councilor Alan O’Callaghan said the idea was very timely.

“Medical records are huge, big chunks of stuff,” he said. “There are huge costs involved in storing them. I often thought there had to be a simpler system. It is an excellent motion, and it should certainly be pursued.

Councilor Donna McGettigan also expressed her support. “When you go from one hospital to another, sometimes your records don’tI’m not going with you,” she said. “It’s a good idea.”

Cathaoirleach Tony O’Brien said everyone was in agreement and the Council would contact the Minister.