The first version of the Patient Portal was built in 2010 but the web-based system was in need of a renewal in order to allow for better usage of the existing data. The challenge of the project was to create a more technologically modern, smarter and user friendly platform.
Through the renewal process, the web-based system was transformed from a simple data-viewing environment to a more enhanced e-services platform. The target group for the system was every citizen of Estonia, although the main emphasis was on people with chronic diseases. Healthy people who can avoid the genesis of chronic and other serious diseases by changing their lifestyle were the second biggest target group.
For the Patient Portal to be able to show all of the needed information, the main data retrieval process is done through the Estonian National Health Information System database. This database is part of the Estonian State Information System, where information related to healthcare is gathered from various sources – from hospital information systems and the population register, for example.
Renewing the Patient Portal has been one of the biggest software development projects in the Estonian eHealth Foundation and was supported by the European SUSTAINS (Support Users to Access Information and Services) project. And once the platform was renewed, the existing services could be imported and new, more advanced, services could also be added with ease.
Ignite has built a renewed, web based, Patient Portal system that allows Estonian citizens to access their electronic health records at any time and from any place in which there is a growing interest in our society. Patients are also interested in getting different opinions about health matters and in being treated with dignity during their treatment. Hence, these projects are designed to empower patients and to turn them from “passive” users, into “active” users.
The renewed and improved Patient Portal is exactly what was needed to help people in the process of becoming more actively involved in their own care, by providing them with the needed information with efficiency and effectiveness.