Data requests for scientific research

Data requests for scientific research

The Kanta services unit in Kela organises the data collection work related to the Prescription Centre and Patient Data Management service. The Kanta services unit is responsible for the expert tasks related to the contents of data requests in the Prescription Centre and Patient Data Management service, the data in the register and the implementation of data requests.

Kela is the custodian of the Prescription Centre and Patient Data Management service. The Prescription Centre includes all prescriptions and records of dispensing events made by pharmacies. Information about the patient’s consents and declarations of intention is recorded in Patient Data Management service (further information in www.kanta.fi).

Sharing of electronic prescription data recorded in the Prescription Centre always requires a permit by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) (section 15.4 of the Act on Electronic Prescriptions). The National Institute for Health and Welfare will assess whether the study of the permit application meets the criteria related to ethics, data protection and scientific research. Further information about using information recorded in the Prescription Centre for research purposes and applying for a permit to use the information is available on the THL website.

By way of derogation from the rest of the information in the Prescription Centre, sharing of declarations of intention in the patient data management service and the log data in the Prescription Centre for scientific research purposes is assessed by Kela. Kela may share declarations of intention recorded in the patient data management service and the log data of the Prescription Centre for scientific purposes on the basis of the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (61/2007), the act on electrical processing of client data in social and health care (159/2007) and the Act on Electronic Prescriptions (61/2007).

The research permit applications related to these can be sent to tietopyynnot@kela.fi. More detailed information on applying the permit is available on the Kela website.

If the collection of research material requires combining of registers of the Prescription Centre and other registers maintained by Kela, it is necessary to launch a permit application process in both the National Institute for Health and Welfare and Kela. Kela’s email address for sending the research permit applications is tietopyynnot@kela.fi.

Further information about Kela’s registers is available at http://www.kela.fi/rekisteritiedot. Statistics compiled by Kela are available on http://www.kela.fi/tilastot.

Information recorded in the Patient Data Repository cannot currently be shared for scientific purposes. In order to use this information, the researchers must contact the producer of the information in question in healthcare services directly.

Data contents of the Prescription Centre

The introduction of the Prescription Centre has taken place in stages. Public healthcare services started using electronic prescriptions in May 2010. Electronic prescriptions is mandatory for both public and private healthcare services as from 1 January 2017.

A document recorded in the Prescription Centre includes the information of one prescription, its dispensing or other similar event. Certain shared information is recorded for all documents. Every document will also have individual identification data. A more detailed description of the information recorded on the documents is available on the kanta.fi website:

Data content of prescriptions

Definitions of prescriptions

The documents recorded in the Prescription Centre are

  • Prescription
  • Cancellation of prescription
  • Correction of prescription
  • Locking of prescription
  • Cancellation of locking of prescription
  • Reservation of prescription
  • Cancellation of reservation of prescription
  • Renewal request
  • Response to the renewal request
  • Dispensing of prescription
  • Cancellation of dispensing of prescription
  • Correction of dispensing of prescription
  • Single dose distribution
  • Cancellation of single dose distribution
  • Cancellation of dispensing reservation

Listing of material to be shared is delivered in .csv or .xls format. Conversion of material into SAS format is an additional service subject to a separate assessment of cost and amount of work with regard to its conversion. The time schedule for the collection of material is determined according to the extent and number of work orders.

Kela will share material on the individual level, and the material is protected so that no individual person can be identified from the material.

Information related to the collection of material for scientific research purposes is stored for three months from the date of sharing the material unless otherwise agreed with the researcher, after which the information will be destroyed. The material is subject to a right of scrutiny and complaint for three months after supplying the material.

Further information

The registry data frequently used in studies is available through the following links

Register data of the Prescription Centre

Register data of the log data

Contact email address asiakaspalvelu@kanta.fi.

Last updated 18.06.2018