Healthcare services can transfer old electronic patient data into the Archive of Old Patient Data, which is part of Kela’s Kanta Services, and dispense with the maintenance of an ageing information system.
Archiving of old patient data is a Kanta service, which has been long awaited in the healthcare services. Patient data that has been recorded in the electronic information systems before the introduction of the Patient Data Repository can be transferred into the Archive of Old Patient Data by the healthcare units. This transfer will also end the archiving obligation of the healthcare services even though the healthcare unit in question will continue to be the controller of the data.
“We want to retain old patient data in the Kanta Services so that the healthcare providers can phase out their old system and its maintenance,” says Antti Lehtinen, Customer Relationship Manager for the Patient Data Repository.
Healthcare units have archived electronic patient data in systems that have already become or will soon become obsolete. Phasing out of these systems will save money and also shelf space. After joining the Archive of Old Patient Data, the unit will no longer need to print out information from the system that is being phased out and to keep it in paper format in order to manage the obligation to archive data.
“Once old patient data has been transferred to Kanta, the organisations will be able to view it through the patient data system or with certain viewers. Old patient data is not shared between healthcare service providers. In other words, only the organisation itself will be able to utilise the data in the operator's register,” Lehtinen specifies.
How do you transfer data into the Archive of Old Patient Data?
Before transferring old patient data to the Kanta Services, the healthcare provider shall test the data with a test tool locally, for example, in cooperation with its own system supplier. Old patient data must be processed into a format that enables the transfer into the Kanta archive. At the same time, it is also tested that the content of the archived data remains intact and is not altered in the conversion from the old information system into the format required by the Kanta Services. In addition, issues that may arise in the testing process are often addressed together with the National Institute for Health and Welfare.
After the data has been tested, a small sample of the data will be delivered to the Kanta Services. “We will ensure that the data is downloaded correctly into the production of the Archive of Old Patient Data service. If all is well, a larger batch of data will be delivered from the healthcare service for archiving,” says Lehtinen.
Which organisations can use the service?
Currently, the service can be deployed by healthcare providers that have joined the Patient Data Repository. However, the purpose of the Archive of Old Patient Data is not to act as a dumping ground for old data, but the controller will be able to utilise the data.
“In terms of the expiring roles of the controllers, there are still some open questions to which we are seeking solutions. However, the data must reside somewhere even after a healthcare provider ceases its activities and is no longer the controller of the data,” Lehtinen ponders.
The archiving of old patient data is a really useful service for organisations and other operators. Old patient data is not shown in My Kanta Pages: it is only available for doctors as a tool in patient care. Nevertheless, citizens do also benefit from the service: “The data is kept safer in the Kanta service than in the bowels of a soon-to-be obsolete information system or gathering dust as printed papers. This is a really good solution in terms of the citizens’ data protection,” Lehtinen adds.