Information management in healthcare and social welfare

The social welfare and health care service must be client-centred. Electronic information management provides up-to-date information and modern tools for citizens and professionals as well as offering support for management in tasks related to assessment and decision-making.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has together with stakeholders drawn up a strategy for information management in healthcare and social welfare, extending until 2020.

Enterprise architecture is closely interlinked with the implementation of the strategy, and several perspectives in the strategy have even been used to structure enterprise architecture. Enterprise architecture is a method for planning activities and information management side by side.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has launched a project programme to reform the legislation governing social and health care information management. The reform seeks to formulate integrated legislation governing the processing of social and health care client data that will include statutes on data protection, document handling, national information system services and information management guidance.

Key priorities of the strategy and requirements for the health and social services reform have been prepared together with various stakeholders as part of the KAJAKKI project to describe enterprise architecture for healthcare and social welfare.

Indicators for national control (KUVA indicators)

The national KUVA indicators are intended for national and regional direction and assessment of healthcare and social welfare services. KUVA indicators are used, for example, in assessment reports by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

The indicators are intended for describing the state of wellbeing and health of the population, for assessing the need for services, and for monitoring the quality, effectiveness, costs and efficiency of the services.

A working group (KUVA Group) is responsible for maintaining and updating the indicators.

The Sotkanet database includes the KUVA indicators and other indicators for healthcare and social welfare.

Information management in legislation

There are several acts and decrees containing provisions on digitalisation and information management in healthcare and social welfare.

Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) has issued regulations and guidelines on the standardisation of information management.

Division of responsibilities among national actors

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is responsible for the legislation, strategic steering as well as international and horizontal collaboration in healthcare and social welfare.

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) is responsible for operational management, financial steering, specifications for Kanta interoperability, code services, functional specifications and process-specific data contents.

The Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) is responsible for the construction, testing and maintenance of Kanta services.

The National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health (Valvira) maintains a national register of healthcare and social welfare professionals as well as healthcare role and attribute services which are based on the register.

The Population Register Centre maintains certification authority (CA) services for healthcare and issues healthcare smart cards.

An advisory board promotes the implementation of national information system services in healthcare and social welfare.

Constant development of electronic services

Digitalisation plays an important role in the health and social services reform. ICT solutions and digitalisation are tools for improving healthcare and social welfare services and creating better opportunities to maintain and improve clients’ health and functional capacity. Electronic services can also help people to maintain their health and functional capacity themselves.

Services are developed as part of Government key projects, among other projects.

National information system services in use across the country

National information system services have been adopted in healthcare and social welfare across the country. Kanta services are designed to serve both citizens and professionals in healthcare and social welfare. At present Kanta services include electronic prescription, Patient Data Repository and the opportunity for everyone to view their health information online (My Kanta)

The content of Kanta services will be expanded gradually and will in time include even social welfare services, oral health services and the Personal Health Record designed for citizens’ use.


Minna Saario, johtaja 
sosiaali- ja terveysministeriö, Sosiaali- ja terveydenhuollon ohjausosasto / OHO, Digitalisaation ja tiedonhallinnan ryhmä DITI 0295163146