A doctoral dissertation study evaluated at the University of Eastern Finland shows that patients find electronic health services easy to access, and they are motivated to use them to monitor their health. Doctors found the electronic prescription easy to use and believe that it improves patient safety.
In her study, Eija Kivekäs, M.Sc. (Health Care) examined the experiences of electronic health services of patients attending specialist clinics, along with the effect of the electronic prescription on the work of doctors.
The responders to the survey had made use of e.g. electronic appointments and viewed their test results via My Kanta Pages in Kanta Services. The patients expressed a need for more detailed and clearer instructions on using the services. Electronic health services currently permit only one-way contact and lack the facility for interaction between patient and professional.
Doctors believed that the electronic prescription has had a positive effect on patient safety and treatment quality. Issuing an electronic prescription was deemed to be easy. Doctors felt that Prescription Centre aided the management of patients' overall medication regimens, for example in respect of drug treatments affecting the central nervous system and opioids. It also showed whether or not the patient had collected the drugs prescribed for them. Nevertheless, the electronic prescription was not deemed to have improved the productivity or effectiveness of their work. Moreover, the doctoral dissertation was unable to show that the electronic prescription had had a significant effect in reducing mistakes or near-misses.
All prescriptions and dispensations are implemented electronically through Kanta Services. Prescriptions are entered into a centralised Kanta Services database, Prescription Centre. Last year, the number of prescriptions issued through Kanta was 28 million, resulting in 64 million dispensations.
My Kanta Pages is an online service for citizens, where they can view their medical records and prescriptions entered by healthcare professionals. Parents and guardians also have access to the records of children under 10 in My Kanta Pages. The service also allows one to request the renewal of a prescription and register one's living will and organ donation testament. You log into My Kanta Pages at www.kanta.fi using online bank log-in IDs, a mobile certificate or a digital ID card. There are more than 1.7 million log-ins into My Kanta Pages every month.