IT system projects: electronic archive of patient records and social services information management

All social welfare and health care information systems are to be brought together into a national online client information system.

The online client information system will enable service users to manage their own information in the system to a greater extent and to receive services that are of better quality and more flexible.

The social welfare and health care online client information system will allow:

  • efficient management of client data,
  • ensuring that client data are up to date and available at all service points,
  • improved information security for client data, and
  • electronic archiving.

The information systems are being developed in projects based on the Act on the Electronic Processing of Client Data in Social and Health Care and the Act on Electronic Prescriptions.

National Archive of Health Information serves all Finns

The National Archive of Health Information (KanTa) is intended to serve not only health care professionals but all users of health care services. Services enabled by KanTa include:

  • electronic prescriptions,
  • an archive of patient records, and
  • a function for viewing one's own health information online.

Electronic prescriptions facilitate the prescribing and delivery of medicines

An electronic prescription (ePrescription) is a prescription that a physician writes up and signs electronically and enters in the national Prescription Centre.

Entries on prescriptions filled by pharmacies are also stored in the Prescription Centre. The Centre thus constitutes a database of all the information related to the prescribing and delivery of medicinal products.

Data in the Prescription Centre are accessible by physicians, dentists, pharmacists and students in these fields, and also by health care professionals assigned to handling requests for renewing prescriptions at health care service units who have been issued with what is known as a professional card.

The ePrescription service was launched in Turku in 2010. All pharmacies have already joined the electronic prescription system.

Patient information collected in a national archive

The eArchive system is a national, secure and consistent electronic archive of patient health records. Using the eArchive system, health care professionals treating a patient anywhere in the country can have access to all previous information about the patient, with the patient's consent.

A patient is entitled to forbid the disclosure of his patient records from one health care unit to another. Such a ban may apply to data from specific units or data on specific service events (visits).

The eArchive system was launched in Kuopio in 2011.

Accessing personal health information online

For health care service clients, the system reform will above all bring added transparency to health care, as clients will be able to inspect their prescriptions and patient records online.

The quality of treatment will also improve as health care professionals gain access to up-to-date information on their clients.

Using a viewing link (eView), clients may see for instance a summary of his/her electronic prescriptions or a list of health care organisations to which his/her patient records have been disclosed.

Users may already view their own data at the Prescription Centre and in the eArchive system. Data are available from those health care units that are using the services in question.

National Project for IT in Social Services (Tikesos)

The purpose of the National Project for IT in Social Services (Tikesos), which ran from 2005 to 2011, was to improve IT for the use of social welfare professionals and to make online social welfare services available to clients. Achieving this requires integration of the contents and structures of electronic documents and of document management.

Development of information management and IT in social services is being continued by the National Institute for Health and Welfare.

eServices and Democracy Acceleration Programme (SADe)

In 2009, the Ministry of Finance launched the eServices and Democracy Acceleration Programme (SADe). The social welfare and health care service entity under the SADe Programme is managed by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the National Institute for Health and Welfare.

The preparation and implementation of the social welfare and health care service entity is being steered by a cluster group.

Advisory Board for Electronic Information Management in Social and Health Care

The development of national information system services is steered by the Advisory Board for Electronic Information Management in Social and Health Care.

Further information

Annakaisa Iivari, johtaja 
STM, Sosiaali- ja terveyspalveluosasto, Asiakkaat ja henkilöstö -ryhmä 0295163371  

Related links

  • Digitalizing Healthcare in Finland
    An interview of Ms. Maritta Korhonen, Head of Development at the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs in Finland by Adjacent Government