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Cooperation with organisations plays a key part in the development of Kanta Services

Article - System developers Written on 6.8.2019 All articles

Kanta has been created for its users. The Kanta Services are used by professionals working in pharmacies and in social and welfare services. Organisations representing various occupational groups are actively working together with the Kanta Services.

The Kanta Services carries out diverse cooperation with representatives of various professional organisations, as well as with Kela and the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). This cooperation takes place through several channels in the same way as with the representatives of patient organisations in the customer panel of My Kanta Pages. There is an active liaison between these bodies, including, for example, the Kanta communication network where the communication representatives of the associations meet on a regular basis. THL also organises joint meetings for the Kanta users of private social welfare and healthcare service providers.

Cooperation takes place, e.g. with the Association of Finnish Pharmacies, Fysi, the Finnish Dental Association, the Finnish Medical Association, Association of Finnish Private Healthcare Providers, the Finnish Association of Vision and Eyecare, the Finnish Association of Speech and Language Therapists, the Finnish Psychological Association, the Union of Health and Social Care Professionals - Tehy, the Finnish Union of Practical Nurses, and the Finnish Association of Public Health Nurses. In addition, cooperation has also been launched with social welfare organisations since the deployment of the client data archive for social welfare services.


“As a matter of fact, we work together with all organisations whose members use Kanta Services in any way, for example, issue prescriptions for the Prescription Centre or enter data in the Patient Data Repository or the client data archive for social welfare services,” says Development Manager Pia Järvinen-Hiekkanen who has worked in the Kanta Services. 

Mutual communication

Mutual communication is the key element in the cooperation. The organisations receive first-hand information about the Kanta Services, and they can pass this information on to their own members. On a reciprocal basis, the organisations provide the Kanta Services with feedback on what is working and what they would like to change. When the cooperation organisations consist of very different kinds of professional groups using the Kanta Services, the range of feedback is wide and it is received directly from the organisations representing each group. 

“The memberships are very diverse and therefore the problems highlighted by different organisations also differ from one another. Through the cooperation with organisations, we are able to provide better support and advice to certain user groups. Over the years, it may have been necessary to have special instructions on joining the Kanta Services, especially with smaller operators. For example, through Fysi we were able to provide information to smaller physiotherapy companies for whom it was a big effort to join Kanta,” Järvinen-Hiekkanen describes.

Finnish Medical Association involved from word go

Cooperation with the Finnish Medical Association has continued for a long time. Exchange of information between the Kanta Services and the members of the Finnish Medical Association is one of the most important tasks, but the association has also been involved in the development of services.

“The Finnish Medical Association has been part of the development of Kanta in one way or another over the past 15 years. From the start, we have been involved in the development of services that concern doctors, delivered opinions and participated in various working groups.  The Kanta Services truly are an important everyday tool for doctors: the computer and digital systems are used more often than even a stethoscope,” says health policy advisor Lauri Vuorenkoski of the Finnish Medical Association.

We carried on close cooperation with the Finnish Medical Association, for example, during the development of the Kelain service. The association was involved in the development work, and its members took part in the testing of the functionalities and workflow of the service. 

“The deployment of Kelain was a big step for our profession as it was strongly linked to the e-prescription becoming mandatory. Especially the older generation were used to issuing prescriptions in a certain way, and it may have seemed daunting for them to start using computerised systems. Kela’s technical support has offered invaluable help for the more senior members of staff. From our point of view, cooperation with the Kanta Services could not have gone better,” Vuorenkoski praises.

Association of Finnish Pharmacies strongly involved in the electronic prescription

The Association of Finnish Pharmacies has also been a close partner since the beginning of the Kanta Services. The association has, for example, been involved from the start in the process of specifying electronic prescriptions, introducing the system in pharmacies and developing the service and functions together with the Kanta Services. 

“One of the key elements for the successful deployment of electronic prescriptions was the fact that the work was planned and scheduled together. However, on a national basis, pharmacies were the first ones to introduce electronic prescriptions. In practice, this took place in two phases: the pharmacies’ own preparatory measures and cooperation with the Kanta Services. After the deployment stage, the extremely close monitoring and development work over the first years was almost as important,” says Iiro Salonen, Project Manager at the Association of Finnish Pharmacies.

In the past few years, instructions in case of fault situations have also been drawn up together for pharmacies and healthcare services. Furthermore, constant cooperation is carried on as and when the legislation or regulations change.

“However, the highest priority in the cooperation is that the message for the pharmacies and the pharmacy customers remains the same: clear and up-to-date. We have an important role in providing information and instructions for pharmacies. Another one of our tasks is to take the ideas brought by the customers and employees of the pharmacies and process them into a concrete proposal for the Kanta Services to drive them forward,” Salonen adds.

The Kanta services have also been involved in a project led by the Association of Finnish Pharmacies in relation to e-authorisation as it has brought about changes also in the Kanta Services. 

“The successful basis for cooperation has been built over many years. This enables implementation of ambitious development projects together with various actors.”