Electronic hospital pharmacy prescriptions

Electronic hospital pharmacy prescriptions

Hospital pharmacy prescriptions are used to prescribe medicines for issues such as infectious diseases. The electronic hospital pharmacy prescription will be introduced in stages from 2024.

Until now, hospital pharmacy prescriptions have been issued on paper or as an electronic prescription in the patient information system. Introducing the electronic hospital pharmacy prescription in an organisation and displaying prescriptions in the Kanta Services’ Prescription Centre improves the coverage of the patient's medication information, which makes overall management of the patient’s medication easier. This also improves medication safety for patients.
The electronic hospital pharmacy prescription helps to harmoniseprescription processing for health care providers and citizens alike.
Below, we explain how hospital pharmacy prescriptions and hospital pharmacy practices differ from prescriptions dispensed at pharmacies and from pharmacy services. Each hospital pharmacy will also issue additional guidance on the practices within its own organisation.

Creating an electronic hospital pharmacy prescription

To create a hospital pharmacy prescription, the doctor selects the type of prescription as a hospital pharmacy prescription (prescription type = 2). If a medicine is prescribed in accordance with the Communicable Diseases Act, this information will be entered into the indicated field .
In exceptional cases, the prescribing doctor may issue a paper prescription or issue the prescription over the telephone. Paper prescriptions may be issued if, for example, the dispensing hospital pharmacy does not yet support electronic prescriptions.

As a rule, hospital pharmacy prescriptions are valid for 24 months. The prescribing doctor may also enter a shorter period of validity for the prescription.

Dispensing an electronic hospital pharmacy prescription

A hospital pharmacy that supports electronic prescriptions can dispense hospital pharmacy prescriptions electronically according to its basic selection of medicines. 

A hospital pharmacy prescription can only be dispensed from hospital pharmacies, and technical measures are in place to prevent pharmacies from dispensing hospital pharmacy prescriptions. Similarly, pharmacy prescriptions (prescription type = 1) can only be dispensed at a pharmacy.

By default, prescription searches in the hospital pharmacy system only include prescriptions to be dispensed by hospital pharmacies. Hospital pharmacies may retrieve and view prescriptions dispensed at pharmacies at the request of a patient or the person acting on their behalf. Hospital pharmacies are not allowed to make changes to prescriptions dispensed at pharmacies.

Hospital pharmacies are not required to convert paper or telephone prescriptions into electronic prescriptions, so they are not stored in the Prescription Centre.

Denial of consent to prescription data sharing

Hospital pharmacy prescription data can be viewed irrespective of a denial of consent by

  • the prescribing doctor
  • employees of the prescribing service provider
  • employees of a hospital pharmacy operating under the same service provider.

Other prescribing doctors, other service providers, other hospital pharmacies and pharmacies cannot view these prescriptions.

Correction and voiding of a hospital pharmacy prescription or dispensed medication

A hospital pharmacy cannot correct a pharmacy's prescription or dispensing of a medication, or vice versa. 

Dose dispensing

Hospital pharmacies are not required to implement a dose-dispensing functionality.

Prescription summary

A summary or copy of a summary of prescriptions printed by the hospital pharmacy for a trip abroad will also include selected prescriptions dispensed by a pharmacy and vice versa.

A summary printed by the hospital pharmacy also includes prescriptions issued by the same service provider even if they are subject to a denial of consent.

Acting on behalf of someone else at a hospital pharmacy

You can collect a medicine from a hospital pharmacy on behalf of another person by presenting a prescription, a patient instruction sheet or, for example, the patient's Kela card, identity card or driving licence. In the absence of a patient instruction sheet, the person collecting the prescription must be able to provide the details of the medicine. 

In all other cases, written authorisation is required in order to act on someone else’s behalf at a hospital pharmacy. Authorisation forms are available from pharmacies, hospital pharmacies, health care service points and Kela service points.  
Hospital pharmacies are not currently part of the e-authorisation system for pharmacy services through Suomi.fi.

Request for renewal of a hospital pharmacy prescription

Hospital pharmacies are not required to have a functionality for requesting renewals of electronic prescriptions. Patients cannot therefore request a prescription renewal in MyKanta, nor can pharmacies do so electronically.

Hospital pharmacy prescriptions can otherwise be renewed like other prescriptions. The patient or the person acting on their behalf must request a prescription renewal directly from the unit where the patient is being treated.

Hospital pharmacy prescriptions abroad

A hospital pharmacy prescription cannot be issued for purchase abroad. Hospital pharmacies do not dispense electronic European prescriptions.

Further information

Last updated 15.2.2024