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Towards free movement of patient data

Blog - Professionals Written on 18.08.2017 All blogs

Thanks to the health, social services and regional government reform (SOTE), citizens can choose between public or private healthcare services. The Patient Data Repository in the Kanta project serves all customers.

“The Patient Data Repository and the Kanta Services in general are the glue that binds together the digital side of the SOTE reform. The Patient Data Repository is the most important component because it is the point of service where everyone can access their treatment-related data,” summarises Jari Porrasmaa, Senior Advisor at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

Porrasmaa works in the digitalisation and data management unit of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, which is responsible for the enterprise architecture in social and health care. He has been involved in the development of Kanta Services from day one over the course of about ten years. Enterprise architecture for freedom of choice is a project that has taken up most of Porrasmaa’s time, and he is also a member of several working groups related to the drafting of the SOTE reform.

“The objective is for the patient’s medical history to follow the customer wherever they are using the service. The Kanta Services provide a good basis for this because the public sector has already joined the service in full.”

“It is also positive that the private sector is already getting involved in the scheme: the biggest service providers have already joined the service."

Porrasmaa is delighted with the new, agile solutions, which make it more cost-effective even for smaller private healthcare providers to join the patient data system.

“The check marks and the overall picture are looking good! I believe that by the time freedom of choice becomes a reality, even the private service providers will have joined the Patient Data Repository even more extensively."

According to Porrasmaa, much work is currently being conducted to make sure that other type of customer data could also be included in the Kanta systems. That way, social services can be better integrated in the system. Freedom of choice also requires new services. Kela aims to implement a payment solution between the regional government and its SOTE service providers, also providing the required monitoring services as a basis for the solution. As the data flows are linked to the cash flows, it is also in the service providers’ interests to safeguard the flow of information.

“With Kanta, private and public healthcare services can be interlinked into a single functioning entity.”

In Porrasmäki's view, the development of both the Patient Data Repository and the Kanta Services is driven by the customer's needs and preferences.

“A key booster in terms of the development of the entire system is the fact that the customers want and expect their medical records to be available in the Patient Data Repository, which means that they will be accessible throughout the entire length of the healthcare supply chain. Customers assume that they are able to view their personal details in the My Kanta Pages, and if that is not the case, we will soon hear about it.”

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