The European Commission has published new recommendations for the exchange of electronic health care records, which would allow cross-border access to laboratory test results, medical discharge reports and images and imaging reports in Member States.
Although it is possible to access some data from electronic medical records across borders in the European Union (EU), this varies significantly from one country to another. Twenty-two countries are expected to exchange patient summaries and e-prescriptions by the end of 2021.
The European Commission is now recommending that this is extended further by proposing that information from laboratory results, medical imaging and reports and hospital discharge reports is also shared across Member States and has put forward recommended technical specifications for the exchange of these data.
It says the move will not only provide physicians with immediate access to information about patients but will also support the efficiency and sustainability of health systems by reducing the time and costs associated with repeating recent laboratory or radiology tests.
To further develop this exchange of information, a Joint Coordination Process between the Commission and Member States will be established that will allow for contributions and input from stakeholders including health professionals and patients' representatives at both EU and national level.