Cross-border exchange of patient’s health data
The new solution, which will be launched in Estonia in the summer of 2022, will simplify the work of doctors and other health care workersprofessionals, providing quick access to a summary of the health data of a foreign citizen in a critical situation.
This means that if a person is involved in an accident and is unable to give explanations or does not know the local language, the doctor can get basic information about his or her critical health data (drug allergies, recent surgeries, etc.), and is therefore enabled to ensure better treatment.
To provide the service, the doctor must see a document with a picture of a foreign patient with his/her personal identification code or a set of additional characteristics (e.g., date of birth + code).
Why is it necessary?
If a person needs treatment in another country, they can always take their data with them on a separate paper or data carrier. However, if a patient is traveling to another European country and is admitted to a hospital, the hospital's healthcare professional will not be able to see the patient's allergies, previous illnesses, chronic illnesses, etc.
If a patient from Estonia seeks medical care (and thus has a therapeutic relationship with a foreign healthcare professional), the country has joined the cross-border Patient Summary service and the patient agrees to the transfer of data, the doctor will have the opportunity to request a summary of the medical history from the patient's country of origin.
The summary contains only the main and critical details that allow the foreign healthcare professional to get an overview of the data in his or her own language in order to provide better healthcare to the patient.
TEHIK has implemented the possibility for Estonian healthcare professionals to query the Patient Summaries of foreign citizens and for healthcare professionals of other countries to query the Patient Summaries of Estonian patients.
More detailed information about the service (incl. overview of the datasets available in the patient summary) can be found here:
- Patient summary of an Estonian citizen to a foreign doctor
- Patient summary of a foreign citizen to an Estonian doctor
In which countries the service of cross-border health data exchange can be used?
- For Estonian citizens in Portugal
- For Estonian citizens in Czechia
- For Estonian citizens in the Netherlands
- For Estonian citizens in Croatia
- For Estonian citizens in France
- For Estonian citizens in Luxembourg
- For Portuguese citizens in Estonia
- For Spanish citizens in Estonia
- For Croatian citizens in Estonia
The list will be updated according to joining countries.
The joint data exchange project between European countries is divided in two:
- Cross-border ePrescription that enables the patient to buy the prescribed medicines in a pharmacy of another EU country that has joined the service.
- Forwarding the summary of patient’s health data: enables to forward the summary of the most important medical data of a patient to a healthcare professional in another country.
The data exchange of both services is organised via the platform that is managed and developed by the European Commission. For joining the service, the countries must create a digital readiness and build an interface to connect their local systems with the cross-border platform. In Estonia, TEHIK is responsible for that.
For creating and implementing cross-border health data exchange, many development partners have contributed to the project next to state authorities and the European Union.
- Ministry of Social Affairs
- Health Board
- Information System Authority
- State Agency of Medicines
The creating of the service is co-financed by the European Union programme Connecting Europe Facility.