The University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), the health insurer Techniker Krankenkasse (TK) and IBM Deutschland are developing a nationwide, electronic health file to give insurance policy holders constant access to their data and to make medical care more transparent, a press release said Wednesday (October 25, 2017). The offer is optional and insurance policy holders decide who has access to their data.
Collaboration between UKE and TK
Marco Siebener, Manager of UKE’s Information Technology, said: “UKE is the first university hospital in Europe to introduce a comprehensive, electronic patient file that allows all patient data to be stored safely. The data is stored centrally and can be accessed by doctors, therapists and care workers via a high-security, certified system at any time and place in the clinic. Thus, we at UKE are offering ideal conditions to allow Hamburg to take part in developing a nationwide, electronic health file.”
The data is stored on a platform after the insurer has received permission from policy holders. Maren Puttfarcken, Head of TK in the state of Hamburg, explained: “The benefit of the file depends on whether other players in the health sector make their data available as well. That’s the only way to reflect illnesses, diagnoses and treatment fully. The nationwide, electronic health file linked to big hospitals is a first important step in that direction.”
Targeting generally accepted standards
The partners are trying to establish generally accepted standards for including diagnoses and treatment data in the file. Data security will be a top priority and will be in accordance with German data protection laws and making the policy holder the sole controller of the data. The Helios Kliniken, Agaplesion and Vivantes have also agreed to co-operate. TK and the University Clinic of Heidelberg are now trying to link up PEPA patient files, in existence since 2014, with the new electronic file.
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