CASE STUDY - Nationwide Patient Portal

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. The Patient Portal is a web based system that allows Estonian citizens to access their electronic health records.

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.

The first version of the Patient Portal was built in 2010. The web-based system was renewed by the Ignite team in order to allow for better usage of the existing data.

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.

The goal of the Patient Portal renewal project carried out by Ignite was, first of all, to create a more technologically modern and smarter platform. Once the platform was renewed, the existing services could be imported and new, more advanced, services could also be added with ease.

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.

In our society, there is a growing interest among patients to access more detailed information about their health. 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.