Healthcare software providers to collaborate on online prescription system

Socrates Healthcare and Helix Health to work together on information-sharing projects

Two Irish healthcare software providers are to collaborate on the development new technologies to improve online healthcare information sharing between doctor and pharmacy.

Under the agreement, Socrates Healthcare and Helix Health will share expertise and resources in an effort to deliver a number of different technical projects, including prescription e-notification and patient e-referral.

Prescription e-notification will allow general practitioners to send a detailed prescription electronically to a pharmacy, removing the need for the pharmacist to re-enter the information manually when dispensing the drug. It is hoped this will speed up the dispensing process and minimise errors.

The e-referral system will allow GPs to send patient referrals electronically to private hospitals or consultants.


Plans for e-prescriptions and online referrals and scheduling in the public health system were outlined in an e-Health Strategy document published by the Department of Health last December, alongside unique identifiers for patients, but the technology has yet to be developed.

Socrates Healthcare’s chief operating officer Colin O’Connor said healthcare providers had a shared desire for improved levels of electronic communication and information exchange.

“Preliminary engagement from the marketplace has been very encouraging,” he added.

Helix Health chief executive Howard Beggs said the partnership would benefit from Helix Health's experience in electronic prescribing in the UK market.

Ciara Kenny

Ciara Kenny

Ciara Kenny, founding editor of Irish Times Abroad, a section for Irish-connected people around the world, is Editor of the Irish Times Magazine