Changes in the data sharing by virtue of the Client Data Act

Changes in the data sharing by virtue of the Client Data Act

The Act on the Electronic Processing of Client Data in Healthcare and Social Welfare (the Client Data Act) will be reformed in spring 2021. If the bill is approved, it will also bring changes to the sharing of client and patient data in the Kanta Services.

As a result of the new Act, client data is shared automatically between healthcare units and from one social welfare organisation to another unless the client refuses to consent to the data sharing. This will ensure that social welfare and healthcare professionals have the necessary information at their disposal.

It is important that social welfare and healthcare organisations prepare in advance for the changes brought by the Client Data Act. Social welfare and healthcare organisations will deploy updated information systems, after which the professionals will be able to record informing of clients and their refusals in accordance with the new Act.

Schedule

The current schedule is an estimate based on the processing schedule of the bill. The deployment schedule will be updated if there are any changes to the legislation process or the bill.

  • Autumn 2020: The bill is submitted to Parliament. Parliament decides on passing the bill.
  • November 2020: Kela arranges training to social welfare and healthcare services concerning changes in sharing processes.
  • January 2021: Social welfare and healthcare professionals start to provide new information to clients in addition to the provision of old information. Clients are also informed in My Kanta Pages.
  • April 2021: New Client Data Act is due to enter into force on 1 April 2021.

The changes will be made in stages. Recording of the new informing function in the healthcare service will be enabled in the first stage. However, the new informing function will also include the data for social welfare services. In future, clients can refuse to consent to the sharing of all their data at the same time.

Changes to data sharing

Upon its implementation, the new act will bring the following changes to the sharing of client and patient data:

  • The clients will have to be issued with new information
    • All clients must be informed again with regard to the Kanta Services and the related rights. Clients must be informed in connection with the first contact at the latest. The information can also be given via My Kanta Pages.
  • Right to refusal
    • In future, clients can refuse to consent to the sharing of all of their patient data at once. The current refusals will remain in force, i.e. a client can issue a refusal concerning individual appointments or service providers in the healthcare service.
  • Consents in the healthcare service will no longer be applied
    • Consent to sharing patient data with persons taking part in the patient’s care will no longer be applied. In addition, verbal consent in the Prescription service will no longer be applied. In future, the sharing of client or patient data via the Kanta Services will be based on informing as well as on refusals issued by the client.

Period between the adoption and entry into force of the Act 

Informing in accordance with the current law will be given and the client will be able to issue the current refusals and consents until the new Act enters into force. Informing in accordance with the new Act will be provided at the same time, and the client can issue a refusal concerning all data at once.

After the Act has entered into force 

Once the new Act has entered into force, informing in accordance with the new Act will be complied with in sharing of data. If new informing has not been given and information about it has not been entered in the Kanta Services, sharing of patient data via the Kanta Services between healthcare organisations will not be possible. 

However, patient data can still be shared between healthcare units that belong to the same joint register. Sharing of data requires informing with regard to the joint register, as well as a patient care context or other appropriate connection with the patient.  

Clients can still specify refusals to apply to certain appointments or service providers only, or they can issue the refusal to apply to all patient data. Consents in the healthcare service will no longer be used.

National interface for recording of informing and refusals

The national browser-based interface is implemented by Kela. With the interface, social welfare and healthcare professionals can enter the informing of patients as well as their refusals in accordance with the new Client Data Act. The interface is primarily meant for the use of social welfare and healthcare organisations for the period between the adoption and entry into force of the Act.

Further information (in Finnish)

Last updated 22.07.2020

Child pages for part Management of data sharing