Individual Health Identifier (IHI)

Individual Health Identifier (IHI)

An Individual Health Identifier (IHI) is a number that safely identifies a person who has used, is using or may use a health or social care service in Ireland. The provision of an IHI for a person was identified as a key enabler for “eHealth Strategy for Ireland December 2013”. The IHI number will be used to safely identify a person and enable the linking of their correct health records from different health systems to give a complete medical history.

It helps health service providers to provide the best possible care to you. They can do this because with the IHI enabled they will have access to your relevant health information. The Health Identifiers Act, of July, 2014, provided for the establishment and maintenance of national registers for: 

•Individual Health Identifiers

•Health Service Provider Identifiers (Practitioners and Organisations)


The IHI Dataset is outlined in the Health Identifiers Act 2014 as follows (a copy of the Legislation can be downloaded from the Oireachtas Website):   


  • IHI number
  • surname 
  • forename
  • date of birth
  • place of birth
  • sex
  • all former surnames
  • mother’s surname at birth
  • address
  • nationality
  • personal public service number (PPSN), if any. The PPSN can be used to find an IHI number but an IHI number cannot be used to find a PPSN
  • date of death in the case of a deceased individual
  • signature
  • photograph
  • any other particulars (excluding clinical information relating to the individual) that, in the opinion of the Minister, are relevant to identifying the individual.

The HSE Health Identifiers (HIDs) Programme

The HSE has established the Health Identifiers (HIDs) Programme to:

1. Establish the registers that will contain the health identifier numbers

2. Design the business operational models for the maintenance of the registers

3. Design the technology systems required to support the operational models

4. Transition the registers and their maintenance into the appropriate service functions.

The IHI project has been established within the HIDs Programme to focus specifically on the IHI national register.

Separate projects will be established to focus on the national registers for Health Service Providers and Health Care Organisations within the HIDs Programme.

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