The Electronic Health Record in Austria: a strong network between health care and patients
Electronic communication between health organisations takes place within strong networks. The technical und procedural support of electronic health communication is of increasing importance for optimal treatment quality and patient safety. Due to the federal organisation of the healthcare system in Austria, the electronic health record – Elektronische Gesundheitsakte (ELGA) – is designed as a distributed system with central components for patient and healthcare provider identification and authorisation management. The network is displayed on several layers, a special legal basis is yet to be enacted and many technical components have already been tested and proved. Unambiguous identification of health service providers and patients, easier workflows and state-of-the-art document management will be among the main benefits of ELGA.
METHODS: Description of the design and making of ELGA.
RESULTS: The article provides information on the technical and constitutional set-up and on the IT-Architecture of ELGA. Special features as the portal, the e-medication and the nationwide harmonisation process of medical documents are discussed. The Masterplan, the cost and benefit analysis and the European health record project epSOS are also presented.
CONCLUSIONS: Beyond and additionally to the upcoming ELGA law and the Data Protection Rules, ELGA has to comply with the relevant international standards. The principal challenge lies, however, in organisational and procedural questions as well as in raising confidence and acceptance for this new electronic health management tool.
S. Herbek, H. A. Eisl, M. Hurch, A. Schator, St. Sabutsch, G. Rauchegger, A. Kollmann, Th. Philippi, P. Dragon, E. Seitz, St. Repas, European Surgery 3/2012