97% of interns at UHL exchange confidential patient information without consent

97% of interns at University Hospital Limerick exchange confidential patient information without their consent.

That's according to a new study in the medical journal BMJ innovations.

The research has found that interns are using instant messengers like WhatsApp because it's the easiest way to share details.

Data experts say the Government needs to fund new communication tools specially designed for the health sector.

Professor Ita Richardson is an Investigator at Lero the Irish Software Research Centre says Ireland spend less on IT than the European average.

She said: "About 0.8% of the HSE budget is spent on healthcare IT, this is much lower than the European average where about 2.5% is being spent.

"Software is a medical device as long as it is dealing with patients. "

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