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Home » Recap: Exploring the Integration of EHRxF in National EHR Architectures – XpanDH Webinar on 19th March 2024

Recap: Exploring the Integration of EHRxF in National EHR Architectures – XpanDH Webinar on 19th March 2024

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We were pleased to host our 5th XpanDH webinar on the Use of the European Electronic Health Record eXchange Format (EHRxF) in the National Electronic Health Record (EHR) Architectures’ on Tuesday, 19th March 2024, at 15:00 (CET).  

The webinar aimed to:  

  • Identify challenges hindering the broad adoption of the EEHRxF in national infrastructure. 
  • Identify a potential roadmap for the widespread adoption of the EEHRxF. 
  • Explore collaboration opportunities among different Member States (MS) and projects to facilitate a seamless EEHRxF adoption. 

Our key speakers included:  

  1. Christos N. Schizas (Moderator), President of the National eHealth Authority in Cyprus, Coordinator of the JA Xt-EH 
  1. Filipe Mealha, Coordinator of the Planning, Architecture, Compliance and Engineering Unit at SPMS 
  1. Helene Prenner, Program and Project Manager at ELGA GmbH, the digital health authority of Austria 
  1. Kerli Linna, Head of Data Management, Health and Welfare Information Systems Centre. 

Here is a summary of the key insights and discussions from the webinar:  

Filipe Mealha,  Coordinator of the Planning, Architecture, Compliance and Engineering Unit at SPMS, from Portugal, emphasized the importance of learning from crises, particularly during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. He discussed the use of document structures, such as vaccination cards, to organize and share crucial health information using EHRxF. Filipe also highlighted ongoing efforts in creating FHIR guides based on international patient summaries, focusing on patient consent and regulatory mechanisms. 

During the discussion session, participants acknowledged the challenges of implementing EHRxF, particularly in countries with established healthcare systems. They emphasized the importance of cooperation, prioritization, and patient empowerment in navigating these challenges. 

Presented by Helene Prenner (Program and Project Manager at ELGA GmbH) and Emmanuel Helm (Standards Lead at ELGA GmbH), Austria showcases significant advancements in the implementation of the European Electronic Health Record eXchange Format (EEHRxF). Since 2015, Austria has been actively utilizing e-reports, with over 80 million documents generated to date. These documents primarily include laboratory reports (54.4%), imaging reports (26%), discharge letters (16%), outpatient reports (1%), and other miscellaneous reports (0.6%).  

The volume of new documents continues to grow, with approximately 1.5 million new reports generated each month. Additionally, Austria has made strides in e-Medication since its inception in 2018, with approximately 9 million new prescriptions processed monthly. Furthermore, the country has successfully implemented e-vaccination since 2020, administering over 28 million vaccinations, primarily focusing on combating the COVID-19 pandemic. These national developments underscore Austria’s commitment to leveraging digital health solutions to enhance patient care and healthcare delivery. 

Estonia is currently undergoing a significant transition from document-based solutions to data/event-based systems, with a strong emphasis on integrating Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR). Kerli Linna, Head of Data Management at TEHIK took us through this transformative journey encompassing shifting away from HL7 V3/CDA towards FHIR as the standard framework.  

All forthcoming solutions are being developed with FHIR as their foundation while existing Clinical Document Architecture (CDA) solutions are being meticulously transformed into FHIR-based counterparts. Notably, Estonia’s focus extends to various crucial areas, including the integration of medication schema, laboratory orders, radiology results, episode of care management, allergies, pregnancy data, and addressing rare diseases.  

In conclusion, the XpanDH March webinar served as an invaluable platform for participants to gain insights into the continuous endeavours to implement the European Electronic Health Record eXchange Format (EHRxF). Throughout the discussion, attendees gained a deeper understanding of the progress made and the challenges encountered by participating countries.  

As efforts to enhance healthcare interoperability and data exchange continue, it is evident that collaboration and shared learning are essential in overcoming obstacles and driving positive change in the healthcare landscape. The webinar underscored the importance of ongoing dialogue and cooperation among stakeholders to realize the full potential of EHRxF and improve healthcare outcomes for all.