Topic of the practice
e-health, support to medical professionals and patients
Good Practice Information
The eHealth Portal was created to increase the use of IT tools for the Estonian Healthcare system, which has been working to digitalize many processes since 2003. Inserting data began in autumn 2008 and today eHealth is one of the largest applications in Estonia that uses the national ID-card. eHealth has enjoyed wide support from the government, including financial resources and coordination. The government’s willingness and ability to support the initiative has been aided by the open-mindedness of the Estonian general public to different digital solutions. The success of eHealth has also reinforced this openness as the public has witnessed the benefits of this and other initiatives including e-school, e-election, e-revenue, internet banking etc. Beyond acceptance of electronic solutions, the broader impact of eHealth is related to its ability to increase the effectiveness of the health care system and the quality of medical services provided to citizens. In particular, eHealth involves the following:
Digital Health Record – Patient health histories are recorded so medical providers can quickly and accurately assess health circumstances which can be very useful during in making accurate diagnosis and treatment, especially during emergencies
• Digital Registration – Many health care providers used different programs (or none at all) to schedule appointments. This effort creates common standards for registration and connects electronic registration systems to a shared website that patients can use to book appointments.
• Digital Receipts – Offers quick and efficient processing of payments and reimbursements
• Digital Archive – Large data files of health care activity are kept which can be analysed to identify health outcomes and ways to reduce costs and improve care
Evidence of success
For the patient, the healthcare service is improved on all levels – scheduling appointments through Digital Registration and paying for services through Digital Receipts are made easier. By linking patient information in a computerized system, a patient’s history is accessible to all doctors, so patients must not undergo re-analysis each time they go to a new doctor. This decreases treatment time and increases accuracy in diagnosis which in turn improves patient outcomes and health.
Doctors have access to complete overview of the patient health history, previous visits, prescriptions, diagnoses, analysis results etc. All the information is quickly accessible and up-to-date, including critical information (e.g. allergies, organ donor decisions etc.). This information can be extremely important in emergency situations and can also avoid misdiagnosis or complications from treatment.
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
Tartu Science Park
Annex completed on: 03-30-2011