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Faster services with electronic delivery of healthcare certificates

Blog Written on 06.08.2019 All blogs

Certificates and reports saved in the Patient Data Repository of the Kanta Services can be delivered to organisations outside the healthcare service when this functionality has been deployed in the patient data system.

Kela’s benefit processing receives about half a million medical certificates A to apply for sickness allowance each year. The majority of certificates are still received in a scanned format or as a photo attachment in connection with the application, but some are also delivered in person or by post in paper format. However, medical certificate A and five other Kela certificates can already be delivered directly from the healthcare service to Kela’s benefit processing via the Kanta Services. For the time being, only a few healthcare units are able to deliver certificates this way because the functionality is still not included in a number of patient data systems. 

“We have already built the channel: it is possible to introduce safe recording and delivery of certificates and reports in the Kanta Services with immediate effect. We hope that the deployment of Kanta recording and sharing of certificates and reports will spread as quickly as possible as it also provides financial benefits for citizens and the authorities, and it is easy to use,” says Mervi Pättikangas, Special Planning Officer at the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

Why is it worthwhile to take the delivery service into use?

Certain certificates are recorded by healthcare organisations in the Patient Data Repository in any case. Actual benefits are gained when you start utilising the archived data while also deploying the delivery service. Electronic delivery of certificates instead of paper copies not only reduces unnecessary printing, but also speeds up the service process and reduces the transaction time. For example, Kela’s benefit processing is more efficient when there is no need to deliver the certificate separately to Kela as it is available in Kela’s system straight away. Any visits to Kela’s offices or the post office are therefore eliminated completely.

“An electronic certificate also obliges the doctor to complete certain fields before being able to submit it. This ensures that benefit processing will definitely have all the correct information at their disposal and no time is wasted in chasing any further information,” Timonen says.

“Electronic archiving and delivery of certificates is also safer than passing them on in paper files or sending them by post. There are great benefits for both professionals and citizens alike,” Pättikangas adds. 

Delivery is enabled once the functionalities have been entered in the patient data system

Before it is possible to deliver certificates via the Kanta Services, the information system supplier of the healthcare service must carry out the necessary functionalities in the patient data system. The systems must pass joint testing between the Kanta Services and the provider and carry out a deployment test. After that, the organisation is able to deliver electronic certificates directly, for example, to Kela.

“A couple of organisations have carried out the deployment test, but there are several deployments planned for the autumn. We are confident that the numbers will increase towards the end of the year. Naturally we want to encourage healthcare organisations to enquire their own information system suppliers about the current stage of deployment,” says Kela’s Analyst Kaisa Timonen.

From healthcare service to Kanta, from Kanta to the authorities

Certificates produced in the healthcare service are archived electronically in the Patient Data Repository of the Kanta Services. The development plan for certificates and reports is available in the Kanta Services publication schedule. Recording of certificates in the Kanta Services makes it possible to deliver certificates electronically to the authorities with the patient's consent.

“The service will include new certificates and forms on a project-specific basis, as well as new authorities to whom certificates can be delivered. In addition to the six Kela certificates, the medical certificate on fitness to drive is also currently in full readiness for archiving. Applicants for a driving licence can themselves deliver the certificate on their fitness to drive to the correct address in Traficom’s e-service,” Pättikangas explains.

Further information