Introduction of Eircodes is improving our Health Service

"The HSE has made significant progress in incorporating eircodes into health systems and processes”

writes Michael Murray, Programme for health Service Improvement (PHSI)and Eircodes Lead for the HSE. Eircodes is the postcode system for Ireland which uniquely identifies addresses in the State. It was launched in 2015 to assist citizens, businesses and public bodies, to easily locate addresses by using a unique address ID. Eircodes is assisting State organisations with the designing, planning and running of public services, especially those with a spatial component. 

Eircodes is very important in providing a digital foundation infrastructure for not just health but for all government bodies, this is one of the core pieces of paving the way to create digital government services and enabling a digital economy.


Within the HSE there are several initiatives which are making use of Eircodes. One is the HSE's Primarcy Care Reimbursements Service (PCRS). A number of key public services databases were preloaded with Eircodes including PCRS. The PCRS database contains over 3 million patient records. Approximately 70% of all patient records in the PCRS system now includes an Eircode. Ivan McConkey of the Primary Care Reimbursement Service explains, “Over time, Eircodes will become more important within PCRS business operations assisting with data capture efficiency and accuracy. Furthermore, the ability to confirm location and the distance between Eircodes will assist with reimbursement claim verification in ways which have not been possible heretofore.”


The National Ambulance Service (NAS) and Health Atlas Finder have also incorporated Eircodes as has the Individual Health Identifier (IHI) database.

An Individual Health Identifier is a number that safely identifies a person who has used, is using or may use a health or social care service in Ireland. Part of the IHI information is the patient address which includes an Eircode. This will help to reduce duplication and decrease errors on data entry when dealing with patients. Eircodes within the IHI will also help to safely locate patient addresses.

For more about how the HSE is incorporating Eircodes & the benefits of Eircodes to the HSE you can read the below article also published in Health Matters.