Dr. Clemens Martin Auer, Co-Chair eHealth Network and Director General of Ministry of Health, Austria
Recent eHealth policy in the European Union is gradually shifting from high hopes and promises to concrete reality, with the eHealth Network beginning to tackle the real issues on the long road toward cross border interoperability in the exchange of health data.
A major step forward was last November’s adoption of “Guidelines on a Minimum Patient Summary Dataset for Electronic Exchange”. This guideline goes far beyond an agreement on a minimum dataset. It exhaustively identifies the organisational, technical and legal prerequisites which have to be met before a single set of health data will actually be able to cross a border. Since this list of prerequisites has received resounding political endorsement, the new guideline provides a viable roadmap for the many steps toward cross border interoperability.
The next major steps will be to adopt “Guidelines supporting Member States in developing the interoperability of ePrescription” and to put in place Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) funding for shared eHealth services.
There is positive spirit in the eHealth Network for finding concrete solutions to make the cross border exchange of health data a reality. As Co-Chair of the Network, I will do my best to ensure that necessary decisions are made in proper time. This can only happen, when we, the competent authorities in the Member States, join forces and cooperate closely.