Home > National Healthcare Quality Reporting System: first annual report.

Ireland. Department of Health. (2015) National Healthcare Quality Reporting System: first annual report. Dublin: Department of Health.

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Background to the NHQRS
It is internationally accepted that for health services to provide high quality safe care they need to measure and monitor the quality of that care. They need to learn from good quality care and improve the quality if it falls below the expectations of patients, the public, policy makers, and the service providers themselves.

To drive improvements in the quality and safety of health care many countries have put in place systems for measuring, monitoring and publicly reporting on the performance of their health services. It is recognised that in health care, as in other arenas, it is difficult to improve what cannot, or is not, measured. The importance of measuring and comparing performance in delivering quality health care outcomes between countries has also been recognised and facilitated by the establishment of international quality reporting systems, for example the OECD Health Care Quality Indicators.

Such systems in other countries allow for the measuring, monitoring and public reporting on the quality of health care at regional, national and international level. They empower patients and service users to make informed decisions about their health care, help health care providers to improve their performance through benchmarking with other services, and they facilitate system-wide quality improvement in health care by informing national policies.

In Ireland large amounts of health data are collected through several information systems such as the Hospital Inpatient Enquiry System (HIPE), the National Cancer Registry of Ireland, and the Computerised Infectious Disease Reporting (CIDR). These information sources are used in various ways to measure, monitor and report on a number of health care related activities and outcomes. Indicators derived from these different information systems are used by the HSE through the service plan to monitor their performance on the quality of clinical care. However, these indicators have not previously been collated in a single report to provide an overall picture of the quality of health care in Ireland with the key aim of informing patients and their families.

The Department of Health carried out an assessment of the feasibility of one of the largest health care information resources in Ireland, Hospital Inpatient Enquiry (HIPE), as a source for deriving quality indicators. This led to the publication of “Health Care Quality Indicators in the Irish Health System: Examining the Potential of Hospital Discharge Data using the Hospital Inpatient Enquiry System” in February 2014. The report found that HIPE was a feasible source to derive quality indicators and it could be used in the future to monitor the quality of health care in Ireland.

At the time of publication of the above named report, the Minister for Health announced the establishment of the National Healthcare Quality Reporting System (NHQRS) for Ireland.

The Minister for Health, with the establishment of the NHQRS, committed to public reporting of information on the quality and safety of health care in Ireland. This is based on a commitment to openness, transparency, improving accountability within the health system and on an understanding that such public reporting of information on performance will help drive improvements in the quality of the care being delivered in the Irish health services.

This reporting system will publicly report indicators that reflect on the quality and safety of health care across the Irish health system and, wherever possible, will be aligned with evidence-based international practice and linked to international norms, e.g. OECD Health Care Quality Indicators.


Date:March 2015
Pages:115 p,
Publisher:Department of Health
Corporate Creators:Ireland. Department of Health
Place of Publication:Dublin
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB (Electronic Only)
Related URLs:
Subjects:J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health care delivery
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Health care administration > Health care quality control
R Research > Research organization and management
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland

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