On holidays: safe exchange of health data across borders thanks to eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure

During summer, many people in Europe travel to other countries to enjoy their holidays. Before leaving, don’t forget to double-check that your Patient Summary is available in your holiday destination, and that you can have your prescriptions delivered there. This type of service is already active between some EU countries and will be rolled out further.

The eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure (eHDSI) facilitates the movement of health data across national borders, ensuring the continuity of care and the safety of patients seeking healthcare outside their home country. eHDSI is funded by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme, and other initiatives in this field are supported by CEF-Telecom:

  • In Finland, as part of the national eHealth service Kanta, permanent cross-border digital health services have been established and deployed. As a result, Finnish patients can have access to their prescriptions through a dedicated ePrescription Centre. The eDispensation service covers all pharmacies in Finland and people from other participating countries can collect their medications there. About 700 Finnish pharmacies have dispensed around 1 250 foreign ePrescriptions in 2020. Between 2019 and 2020, 11 500 Finnish ePrescriptions have been administered abroad.
  • Deployment of cross-border eHealth services in CroatiaIn Croatia,aNational Contact Point for eHealth (NCPeH) was set up and the cross-border digital health services for ePrescriptions and ePatient Summaries have been launched. Overall, twelve functional cross-border services were made available thanks to the project, such as ePrescriptions with Finland, Estonia, and Portugal and Patient Summaries with Malta, Czech Republic, and Portugal.

eHealth is also supported by projects and initiatives funded under the Thirds health programme and the EU4Health programme. In particular, the Joint Action TEHDAS (Towards European Health Data Space) is supporting EU countries and the European Commission in building a European Health Data Space (EHDS). The Joint Action, funded by the Third health programme, is working to improve cross-border secondary use of health data for the benefit of citizens’ health.  The EHDS will allow European citizens, communities, and companies to benefit from secure and seamless access to health data, regardless of where it is stored. The project has recently developed recommendations for the implementation of the EHDS’ technical infrastructure.

Source: European Commission | European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA) (https://rb.gy/cau0h)