Opinion piece from Eileen Byrne: Clanwilliam’s Role in Advancing Healthcare Interoperability and Data Security

16 Feb

Opinion piece from Eileen Byrne: Clanwilliam’s Role in Advancing Healthcare Interoperability and Data Security

Eileen Byrne, Managing Director at Clanwilliam Ireland, discusses the role our Clanwilliam Connect Partnership Programme plays in fostering a more interoperable e-health ecosystem for Clanwilliam customers, partners, and patients. 


Changing Healthcare Data Landscape
The healthcare data landscape is evolving. Increased data digitisation and emerging technologies means that interoperability and data security have never been more in focus.

With new EU legislation on the horizon and several significant national e-health initiatives such as the Summary Care Record and e-prescribing high on the agenda, it is imperative that the building blocks of success are in place for the healthcare sector to collectively work together to unlock the true potential of digital health and health data.

Eileen Byrne, Managing Director at Clanwilliam Ireland

Eileen Byrne, Managing Director at Clanwilliam Ireland.

While the European Health Data Space (EHDS) will have far-reaching impacts, the health-specific data sharing framework builds upon GDPR and other directives. It introduces security criteria for interoperability and electronic health record systems, thereby enhancing patients’ control over their data.

The Clanwilliam Connect Partnership Programme
The Clanwilliam Connect Partnership Programme is designed to foster a more interoperable e-health ecosystem, facilitating the secure exchange of critical patient data among Clanwilliam customers, partners, and all healthcare stakeholders.

The Programme will further strengthen cyber security across Clanwilliam’s suite of products by managing third party access through a centralised service, built on cutting-edge cloud technology with a “privacy and security by design” approach. The Clanwilliam Connect service will streamline and add additional security to the data exchange process, ensuring governance throughout all data extraction.

As part of its commitment, Clanwilliam is making substantial investments in our Connect Service to ensure our readiness for upcoming interoperability regulations and projects.

Strategic Interoperability
For over 25 years, Clanwilliam has forged successful integrations and partnerships with healthcare technology providers and worked with key stakeholders such as the Department of Health, ICGP, and the HSE to help shape the future of the digital healthcare space in Ireland. We continue to proudly support the HSE eHealth programme of work and in the last 10 years have worked with the HSE and ICGP to deliver a number of digital health initiatives such as Chronic Disease Management, e-Referrals, electronic prescriptions, and covid vaccinations.

“Collaboration and interoperability have always been at the heart of our approach, and our partnerships not only foster a more connected e-health ecosystem, they provide additional value to our customers, too.”

We also work with various trusted partners such as Cyber Fortress Security, backup and disaster recovery provider, Billink, online payments, Swiftqueue, online patient appointments and numerous e-referral providers, to name just a few. These partners add significant value to the workflow of our customers, bringing together powerful and agile technology innovations and ensuring they work seamlessly with our practice management systems.

Setting the Security Standard
While interoperability is key to overcoming numerous challenges in the healthcare sector, clearly there must be robust measures in place to minimise security and data protection risk.

More broadly with healthcare data, huge concern sits with the significant risks around invasion of privacy and loss of data control. Within primary care, we’ve encountered some bad practices in the market and with the increased risk of cyber-attacks and data breaches, “we, at Clanwilliam, have a responsibility as a trusted data processor to provide the highest levels of security and assurance to our customers.”

We take this responsibility extremely seriously when it comes to safeguarding patient and practice data, ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements, and adhering to the highest industry standards.

With this in mind, we are currently completing the roll-out of a security upgrade across our practice management systems that increases the security posture of the systems and inhibits unauthorised access. We expect to successfully complete the roll out by October this year.

To further strengthen security within the ecosystem, our robust partner assessment and assurance protocol within the Clanwilliam Connect Partnership Programme ensures that all third-party vendors and suppliers comply with rigorous standards.

While we are actively engaged with a number of partners through the Clanwilliam Connect Partnership Programme, we openly invite collaboration with all healthcare providers who share our dedication to security and innovation. Further, we will continue to collaborate with key healthcare stakeholders and customers as we navigate greater regulation around interoperability, security and patient access to EHRs.

We understand that partnering with other healthcare software vendors in the market not only aids interoperability but also accelerates innovation and we, at Clanwilliam look forward to unveiling these innovations throughout the coming year.

To find out more about our Clanwilliam Connect partnership programme, visit: clanwilliamhealth.com/products/clanwilliam-partner-programme/