6.3.2018 - 14:36

Medical care is easier to manage with shared patient data

Consenting to sharing your patient data is helpful when you require medical care elsewhere than in your own health centre.

A skiing trip to Lapland, visiting relatives’ summer cottage or a weekend break with friends. Finnish people travel around a lot and accidents can happen also outside your home town, or you may be in need of public or private healthcare services. At such a time, it is useful if the medical staff have all essential information available in order to look after you. However, you need to have given your consent to sharing your patient data before the attending medical staff is allowed to retrieve information about you in the Patient Data Repository.

What does sharing of patient data mean?  Antti Lehtinen of Kanta services gives a brief explanation about giving your consent.

What am I giving consent for?

With the consent, you give permission to share your personal data recorded in the Patient Data Repository with the personnel treating you. The Patient Data Repository is an e-service, in which various healthcare units record patient data from their own information systems. Therefore, sharing takes place between healthcare providers who do not fall within the same patient register. Controllers of these registers are healthcare units that include both public and private operators. There is no need to give your consent to share information within a unit that belongs to the same register.

Why is it useful to share information?

If you receive medical treatment elsewhere than in your own health centre, the local service provider is able to retrieve information from the Patient Data Repository, if necessary. In addition, if you are seen by several different service providers, you will not have to undergo the same examinations over again as the medical staff will already know what tests have been carried out. That way, for example, a doctor attending to you can send a sharing query in the Kanta service and receive key information with respect to your treatment, which has already been recorded on the basis of your previous appointments.

Can I consent to sharing only some of my details?

Yes, you can limit the sharing of your data with refusals. In the public sector, you can deny sharing your data recorded by a certain healthcare unit, for example, a health centre, or specify register-specific sharing of information. You can also deny sharing information related to individual encounters (an appointment or treatment period). In the private sector, refusals must be made separately for each encounter. Consents and refusals concerning the sharing of your own patient data can be controlled in the My Kanta Pages service.

How many people have given their consent to sharing their patient data?

There are almost three million consents given, about 2.87 million. We don't have an accurate figure as it is possible to cancel consents or refusals afterwards. However, there are fortunately only few refusals, about 70,000 in the entire country.

How do I give my consent to sharing my patient data?

The easiest way to give your consent to sharing your data is to do it online in My Kanta Pages, or alternatively you can sign the form in a healthcare unit that uses the Patient Data Repository.

If you consent to your medical records being used, your details entered in the Patient Data Repository are available for use in your treatment between different service providers in the health service. Click to enlarge image.

Further information