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Post: How should the medical history be digitized?


Plans have been made for an electronic patient file for a long time, now Health Minister Lauterbach wants to speed things up. What to expect from patients

Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) wants to advance the digitalization of the healthcare system. On August 30, it seeks to pass the electronic patient record (ePA) law through the federal cabinet.

What does the e-file provide to patients and doctors?

Millions of people with statutory health insurance with the ePA should be able to store their X-rays, medication plans and other treatment data digitally. You and your doctors can get them later.

The big advantage: treating physicians can immediately see what has been done so far in new patients, where there are risks and where additional preventive care makes sense. When prescribing medications, they can also understand if there is a risk of unwanted interactions with other medications.

Electronic emergency data should also be stored in the ePA. Insured persons should also be entitled to have old, selected patient files digitized by health insurance companies.

Where is the patient file so far?

For those with statutory health insurance, the electronic patient file has been working for over 20 years.

From the beginning of 2021, the insured can voluntarily use the electronic patient file with the offers of their own health insurance companies. So far, less than one percent of the nearly 73 million people with statutory health insurance have done so, according to Lauterbach. This is due to the complex registration process and partially immature applications for use.

Will the electronic patient file be mandatory now?

According to government plans, from 2025, patients will be automatically provided with an ePA by their health insurance company.

Lauterbach plans to introduce an “opt-out” solution for insured persons to actively object to the transfer of their data to an electronic file.

The federal government hopes that the ePA usage rate will be 80 percent by 2026. Lauterbach assumes that most policyholders will not refuse the e-file. A similar procedure in Austria showed that only “about three percent objected”.

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Source: ZDF

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