Patient rights in electronic prescriptions

Patient rights in electronic prescriptions

Information

Patients are entitled to receive information about electronic prescriptions before they are issued with one for the first time. Patients must be told about their own rights, where and on what terms their prescription information can be disclosed, and what they can do to influence the movement of this information. Patients must also be told how the information stored on them in the Prescription Centre is protected, and on the operating principles and administrators of the information systems.

Patients must also be told about viewing My Kanta pages and how to log on to the service.

The information may be given by a healthcare receptionist, nurse or doctor. The procedures vary between units. The information must be provided either orally or in writing.

Information about buying medicines on an electronic prescription from a pharmacy in another European country is provided when the patient gives their consent on My Kanta to dispensing prescription medicines abroad

Informing patients on the result of repeat requests

Patients are entitled to be informed as to whether their electronic prescription has been renewed, or if their repeat request has been denied or it has lapsed. Patients may ask for the status of their repeat request at the pharmacy or healthcare unit one week after it was made at the earliest. Patients can also opt to receive the information on a repeat electronic prescription or its denial by text message.

Patients leave their mobile phone number at the time of renewal at the pharmacy or healthcare unit. The text message is sent to the number supplied by the patient, so it should be checked as correct every time. The text message is sent by the Prescription Centre and contains the name of the medicine. 

If the prescription cannot be renewed, the healthcare unit is obliged to inform the patient about it.

Withholding consent for the disclosure of electronic prescription information

You can withhold your consent to the disclosure of the information on your electronic prescriptions. You can withhold access to your prescriptions from pharmacies and healthcare providers by stating your refusal to a healthcare unit or by visiting the Consents and refusal section of My Kanta. Despite the refusal, the person who wrote the prescription will be able to see the prescription in the Prescription Centre, while the prescribing organisation will be able to see the prescription in the patient information system. If a doctor is writing you a prescription for a narcotic or a medicine that mainly affects the central nervous system, they will see any other similar medication prescribed for you even if you have refused permission to view your information.

If you have refused permission to disclose your prescription information, you can only collect medicines at the pharmacy by presenting the patient information sheet.

Patients' right to check their details

Patients have the right under the law (the Personal Data Act and the Act of Electronic Prescriptions) to

  • check the details stored on them in the Prescription Centre and Prescription Archive
  • demand that incorrect information is corrected
  • obtain information on who have handled and viewed their personal information.

Right to examine

If patients wish to examine the electronic prescription details in the Prescription Centre and Prescription Archive, the request should be addressed to Kela. 

Electronic prescriptions and related information are kept in the Prescription Centre for 30 months or 2.5 years. After this period, the data is moved to the Prescription Archive, where they are kept for 20 years.

All requests must be made in writing on Kela's official forms. They are available from healthcare units using electronic prescriptions, pharmacies and Kela offices.

Patients have the right to obtain the information free of charge once a year. If it is less than a year since the previous request, Kela can make a charge for the costs incurred by providing the information. 

If Kela (the register controller) denies the patient's right to examine, it must issue a certificate of refusal to the patient, citing the reason for the refusal.

Log records

You can see in My Kanta pages which organisations have viewed and handled your details. Patients also have the right to know who has handled their details stored in the Prescription Centre and Prescription Archive. The log record request should be addressed to Kela.

All requests must be made in writing on Kela's official forms.  They are available from healthcare units using electronic prescriptions, pharmacies and Kela offices.

The log record report shows the persons who have accessed and handled your details and the reason why they have been handled.

Kela has the right to refuse to disclose log records if it is known that it may pose a serious risk to the client's health or treatment or to someone else's rights. Patients do not have the right to obtain log records older than two years without a specific reason (e.g. suspected misuse).

If clients request the same information again, they have the right to details based on the same log records only is there is a justified reason in order that their interests or rights are fulfilled.  Kela can make a charge for re-provided information.

If patients believe that their details have been modified without good reason, they may request an explanation from the pharmacy or healthcare unit in question. The request for an explanation is submitted to Kela if the prescription information was handled by a pharmacy in another European country.

Correcting incorrect personal details

Patients have the right to request that incorrect prescription information is corrected. If the prescription information is incorrect, clients can request the social or healthcare unit or pharmacy that recorded the incorrect information to correct the error. 

If it is not possible for the social or healthcare unit or the pharmacy to correct the information, the request for a correction is submitted to Kela in writing. The request is also submitted to Kela in the case that the incorrect information was recorded by a pharmacy in another European country. If it is not possible to comply with the request, Kela provides the patient with a certificate of denial which states the reason why the request was denied.

Deletion of information and transfer from one system to another

Data subjects do not have the right to erase personal data stored in the Prescription Centre which Kela requires to carry out its legal mandate, or the right to transmit the data from one system to another (Articles 17 and 20 of the EU General Data Protection Regulation).

Electronic prescriptions are stored for 22.5 years starting from the date of prescription, after which the data are destroyed.

Last updated 24.01.2019