Patients in Finland this week became the first in the European Union (EU) to be able to retrieve medicine prescribed electronically by their home doctor at a pharmacy in Estonia. The move forms part of the eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure that connects the eHealth national services, allowing them to exchange health data.
Doctors using the service write the prescription in their own language, but the pharmacist in the receiving country will receive the prescription in both the original language and in their own language, with the translation completed automatically by the underlying digital infrastructure.
The eHealth Network has also recently given the green light to Czechia and Luxembourg to receive patient summaries of foreign citizens.
Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, commented: "Sharing e-prescriptions and patient summaries will be crucial for patient safety as it can help doctors to better understand a foreign patient's medical history and can reduce the risks of incorrect medication and the costs of duplicate tests. The Commission will continue its support to expand these exchanges across the EU."
Twenty-two member states are expected to be able to exchange e-prescriptions and patient summaries by the end of 2021.