New eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure allows first EU citizens to use ePrescriptions across borders and more EU news briefs

Also: Allscripts introduces new EMEA VP, MD role; NHS App programme director joins NHS trust; England explores the use of predictive analytics in reducing deaths from suicide; Eurostat releases new data on finding health information online.
By Leontina Postelnicu
10:22 AM

New initiative sees EU citizens use ePrescriptions in other EU country. Finnish patients can now get their medicines from pharmacies in Estonia prescribed electronically by their doctors back in Finland through the new eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure, the European Commission announced last week. This applies to pharmacies in Estonia participating in the initiative and all Finnish ePrescriptions.

“People should be able to use their e-prescriptions across borders. Free movement is a founding principle of the EU: we must make it as easy as possible for people to get treatment or medicines when abroad in the EU,” said Andrus Ansip, Digital Single Market vice president. "The next major step will be to simplify patient access to their very own health data, by developing a common format for exchanging electronic health records between EU countries."


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Eurostat data shows 52 percent of people in the EU used the internet to find health information in 2018. New figures from the EU statistics agency indicate that more than 50 percent of people in the EU aged 16-74 used the internet in 2018 to access health information limited to private purposes, such as accessing specialised websites or using search engines. The number went up to 72 percent in the Netherlands and 69 percent in Finland, however, it was much lower in Italy (35 percent), Romania (31 percent) and Bulgaria (25 percent).

Source: Eurostat

England looks to use tech and predictive analytics to reduce suicide rates. Suicide prevention minister Jackie Doyle-Price will oversee the implementation of a cross-government suicide prevention plan in England, published earlier this month, which outlines a key focus on exploring the potential role of new technologies and predictive analytics in identifying those most at risk.

“I will be working with local councils, the NHS and the justice system to make sure suicide prevention plans are put in place across public services,” Doyle-Price said. “Together, we will do everything in our power to meet our ambition to reduce suicides by at least 10% by 2020 – and I look forward to working collaboratively with social media and tech companies to help achieve our ambitions.”

NHS App programme director takes up CDIO role at NHS trust. Kettering General Hospital (KGH) NHS Foundation Trust has announced that Andy Callow, the NHS App programme director at NHS Digital, has been appointed as the organisation’s first chief digital and information officer, starting this spring. Prior to the NHS App – which is currently being rolled out across England – role, Callow was the head of technology delivery for the NHS.UK website.

“I am excited to be the new Chief Digital and Information Officer at KGH,” Callow said. “I can see lots of opportunities to improve patient and staff experience through the application of digital technology. I look forward to contributing to the Trust’s journey of improvement.”

Allscripts creates EMEA managing director and VP role. Richard Strong is taking up a new role with Allscripts as EMEA vice president and managing director, the company announced today. Strong, previously the Allscripts VP for international services, will reportedly focus on expanding the number of NHS trusts in the UK deploying the Sunrise EPR and improving awareness of their dbMotion population health management solution.

“I want more people to hear about what Allscripts has delivered at some of the top performing trusts in the United Kingdom, which use dbMotion to share information with GPs and explore population health management," Strong said. "And, as we develop a strategy for EMEA, I want more organisations to benefit from the solutions that we are deploying across the UK.”

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