- Hans Weber
- December 4, 2023
Implementation of Electronic Health Records Faces Challenges in Czech Healthcare System
The implementation of electronic health records (EHR) in the Czech healthcare system has encountered significant roadblocks, according to a recent report by the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ). The audit has identified critical issues with the functionality of key components of the electronic healthcare system, particularly the lack of shared medical data, which has hampered the efficiency of healthcare professionals. While the Ministry of Health has acknowledged these challenges and is taking steps to address them, the situation highlights the complexity of digitizing the healthcare sector.
The NKÚ conducted an audit to examine the utilization of funds allocated for improving the efficiency of the healthcare system and the development of infrastructure and administration of electronic health services between 2019 and 2022. The findings revealed that the proposal for the law on healthcare digitization was submitted late and omitted critical areas, including the regulation of emergent records, personal health records, and the health documentation index. This omission contradicts the vision of patient-oriented healthcare and creates a lack of a reliable system for sharing patient data.
The absence of a dependable system for sharing patient data has significant consequences, particularly for healthcare professionals who rely on comprehensive patient information, especially in critical situations. The NKÚ report further highlighted that the Ministry of Health has postponed the achievement of set goals until 2026, adding to the urgency of addressing the challenges within the electronic healthcare system.
Despite these setbacks, the Ministry of Health is committed to improving the situation. They have recognized that the initial proposal for healthcare digitization was designed for rapid adoption and have indicated a willingness to revise it. The ultimate goal is to systematically integrate electronic healthcare as an integral part of healthcare service provision, ensuring seamless access to medical information for healthcare professionals.
The challenges and issues revealed by the NKÚ report emphasize the complexities and importance of digitizing the healthcare sector. Ensuring the proper functioning and accessibility of electronic health records is essential for improving patient care, streamlining administrative processes, and enhancing the overall efficiency of the healthcare system. The Czech healthcare system is poised to make the necessary adjustments to overcome these challenges and fulfill the vision of patient-centered, digitized healthcare.
Article by Prague Forum