April 16, 2021

Brussels asks to access the patient's medical chart from another country

Brussels asks to access the patient's medical chart from another country

The European Commission has proposed today to extend access to patient data from another Member State to laboratory tests, medical discharge reports and medical imaging reports such as x-rays in order to avoid repetition of unnecessary tests and improve treatment for the patient.

"The exchange of the summary (medical history) of patients is already possible thanks to the infrastructure of digital electronic health services supported with EU funds" through the Connect Europe program, recalled the Health Commissioner and doctor by profession, Vytenis Andriukaitis, as reported by Europa Press.

A total of 22 member states, including Spain, have committed to making the exchange of patient summary records and medical prescriptions come true by the end of 2021, although for example, access to electronic prescriptions is already possible in countrys as Finland, Estonia, Portugal and Croatia and soon Czech Republic, Portugal and Malta will provide medical records. Spain is committed to facilitating access to records in 2020, along with France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Belgium and Austria among others, and until 2021 the electronic recipes will not be available for Spaniards abroad. Nor will they be until the end of 2021 in Slovenia, Lithuania and the Netherlands.

"In the long term, not only basic medical information but all medical history should be available throughout the EU," recalled the commissioner, who has urged the other five countries that have not yet joined the digital services infrastructure to do it "as soon as possible" for the benefit of its citizens. They are Denmark, Bulgaria, Romania, Latvia and Slovakia. The United Kingdom, which is expected to leave the bloc at the end of March, has not joined either.

It will avoid the repetition of expensive tests

The Community Executive has proposed taking a further step to expand access and exchange of data to laboratory tests, medical discharge reports and medical images, such as radiography reports. In the case of an accident during a trip to another EU country, the Community Executive has also proposed that doctors have "immediate" access to patient information such as chronic conditions, allergies or intolerances to certain medications. The objective is to prevent the repetition of unnecessary costly tests and to improve the efficiency and quality of treatment of patients when they have moved or moved to another EU country, although the EU Executive also hopes that the exchange will open "new avenues" for medical research of chronic and neurogenerative diseases "as long as data protection standards are respected". That is, provided that the patient gives his consent to the use of their data.

"It's not about creating a centralized database. It is about agreeing on a common format so that these standards can communicate with each other ", explained the Commissioner of the Digital Economy and Society, Mariya Gabriel, who recalled that the common format" already exists "for records and electronic recipes, although you have to "put it in motion" to generalize it and "develop it as a priority" now for laboratory tests, medical discharge reports and images.


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