The first electronic health records of patients have been exchanged in the European Union (EU) using the eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure.
The European Commission has announced that doctors in Luxembourg can now receive digital 'patient summaries' for travellers from Czechia. These summaries contain background clinical information including current medication, previous illness and prior surgeries. By 2022, it is expected that over 20 EU countries will participate in the initiative.
In addition to this, as of last week, Finland and Croatia can now exchange ePrescriptions. Medicines prescribed in Finland electronically can be dispensed in Croatia. Finland has been exchanging ePrescriptions with Estonia since January, and over 2,000 Finnish patients have been able to get their medicines in Estonia in that period.
The services are available through the 'My health @ European Union' infrastructure which connects the eHealth national services, allowing them to exchange health data. Data protection rules are strictly observed; patients have to provide their consent before these services are accessed.
Twenty-two countries in the EU are currently part of the eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure and are expected to exchange ePrescriptions and Patient Summaries by 2022. Seven Member States - Finland, Estonia, Czechia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Croatia and Malta - will launch the system by the end of 2019.