You are given an Individual Health Identifier (IHI) number the first time you use health or social care services in Ireland.
It is used to identify each person that has used, is using or may use a health or social care service.
The IHI lasts for your lifetime. It is a number that is only used by healthcare staff and service providers and is never given to anyone else.
The IHI is an identifying number only. It is not an electronic health record and does not hold any information about your health.
It is not important to know your IHI as you will never be asked for it. You do not need to know your IHI because it is only used in background systems.
Benefits of the IHI
The IHI is attached to your health records and allows your health records to be found across different systems.
The benefits of an IHI include:
- patient safety - makes sure your health records are correctly linked together
- efficiency - helps us to find your records quickly
- enabling eHealth applications - allows us to link records together from different systems
- privacy - allows us to track who has been looking at your records
IHI and your COVID-19 vaccine
You do not need to know your IHI to get your COVID-19 vaccine.
The vaccination system will find your IHI when you give your personal details including your:
These details will be used to help make sure that everyone who gets their COVID-19 vaccine is correctly matched to their vaccination record.
Any additional information you enter on the vaccination portal will not be attached to your IHI.
HSE Vaccine updates
Read more about data protection for the COVID-19 Vaccine Information System
HIQA’s Frequently Asked Questions
In March 2015 HIQA published these Frequently Asked Questions about health identifiers
You will never be asked for your IHI as it is just a number used to help make sure the health service identifies you correctly.
We fully acknowledge that you are entitled to know your IHI number.
We are putting a process in place which will allow you to request it from the Health Identifiers Service.
It may take us some time to get your IHI number to you as this new process is currently being developed.
For more information, email the Health Identifiers Service: firstname.lastname@example.org