Support Member States in the development of cross-border eHealth services
Potential of action
Many EU citizens travel to or work in another Member State, however, their healthcare information is not always accessible in the Member States where they need the treatment. The increased mobility of citizens coupled with the advancements of digital technologies requires both health policies and health systems across the European Union to be more and more interconnected.
Description of action
Electronic patient records and electronic prescriptions should be available to patients and health professionals across the EU, wherever they are needed and by whoever needs them. But patient records and prescriptions are far from being portable within and between Member States and many challenges – technical, semantic and legal – remain as healthcare moves towards interoperability.
To address this situation, work is ongoing towards establishing an eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure for the exchange of patient summaries (when a citizen makes an unplanned cross-border healthcare visit to a health provider in the EU, the health professional will have access to the person's patient summary) as well as e-prescriptions (ensuring that a patient abroad can receive the equivalent medication treatment that he would receive in his home country). The Connecting Europe Facility will facilitate the exchange of patient data and information on prescriptions at EU level between Member States
To this end, a network needs to be established, with different national infrastructures connected by National Contact Points.
In the future, two other services, European Reference Networks and Interoperable Patient registries might be deployed. In particular, the European Reference Networks European reference networks (ERNs) will facilitate access to diagnosis, treatment and provision of affordable, high-quality and cost-effective healthcare. In particular they focus on cases of rare or low-prevalence complex diseases which affect the daily lives of around 30million EU citizens. The first ERNs were launched in March 2017, involving more than 900 highly-specialised healthcare units from over 300 hospitals in 26 EU countries. Today, 24 ERNs are working on a range of thematic issues including bone disorders, childhood cancer and immunodeficiency. ERNs will also serve as focal points for medical training and research, information dissemination and healthcare evaluation.
Main responsible at the European Commission: DG SANTE
Target date: 2016-2018
Status: On track
More info (website): https://ec.europa.eu/cefdigital/wiki/display/CEFDIGITAL/eHealth