An Irish doctor has launched a new service offering to anyone who needs to access a public database containing medical records of any patients who have died.
Dr Paul Hensley said he launched the service in the wake of a recent report that revealed that patients who were referred to hospital in Ireland were far more likely to die than those who had not been diagnosed with cancer or other illnesses.
The report, published by the Irish Medical Journal, found that patients referred to a specialist hospital were more likely than those not referred to the hospital to die within a month.
A new service called Acid Data is offering to help patients access this public database, he said.
“The data is very sensitive and cannot be accessed without permission.
But you are not required to be a doctor to access the data,” Dr Henslay said.
“This is just to help people who have been referred to an emergency department.”
The service was set up to help the public access a database containing information about all the patients who had died in Ireland between 2000 and 2021.
He said that he believed that this information was more relevant to the public’s health and could be of use in determining whether a particular case was worthy of hospital admission.
There are currently about 20,000 records in the public database and each patient can access up to five records per day.
Mr Hensleys website says the information will be available free of charge and will include information about a patient’s health history, age, family history, cause of death, physical examination, date of death and hospital admission date.
His service will be launched on the same day as a new report from the Medical Journal by Professor Stephen R. Dank, head of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Southern Queensland.
Dank said the report showed that patients dying in the first five days of their hospitalisation were significantly more likely by the time they were admitted to hospital than patients who died in the six to 12 days that followed.
In total, there were 1,400 cases in the database that were not immediately identified.
As well as identifying the patients, Dr Huesley said the service could be used to identify people who might be at risk of dying.
Professor Dank said patients who needed urgent care in hospital in the future might benefit from access to the information.
We want to make sure that we have a strong system of monitoring and that if any information about people that are dying in hospital is ever released, we have the capacity to track it, he told The Irish News.
Irish medical groups have criticised the system of sharing such information and said that it was not appropriate to release information about patients in the hospital.
More than 5,000 people in the Irish hospital system died of cancer in the last 12 months.
Among those were over 200 patients with a history of pneumonia and tuberculosis.
Last year, the country was ranked the worst in the world for cancer deaths.