The Finnish government ignores market-based solutions and proposes a national solution
The Finnish government proposes that the independent social security institution Kela should be responsible for providing national on-line prescription service. According to the government, there will be no such commercial services available in the near future, which would not require an expensive patient information system. The market seems to be too small for commercial solutions, concludes the new law proposal.
However, Finnish software companies are actively developing inexpensive commercial services for electronic handling of prescriptions and patient data in social care and health care. These solutions are ideal for small clinics and independent medical doctors and dentists. The new law would destroy the market.
Finnish software companies Atostek Ltd. And Pro Media Data Oy have together developed an on-line prescription service.
– A simple browser-based solution independent from patient information systems is feasible as soon as the national health care official THL clarifies the auditing requirements for such systems. This has been the bottle neck, says Mr Timo Valli, Technical Director of Pro Media Data Oy.
According to Mr. Valli, the national health care regulations have so far delayed commercial solutions. According to these regulations, an on-line prescription system has not been permitted without integration to a patient information system.
– Together with Pro Media Data, we are prepared to release a commercial on-line prescription system this spring. It will be independent from patient information systems and thus very affordable and easy solution for small medical units and individual doctors, promises Mr. Mika Torhola, the Managing Director of Atostek Ltd.
– The required smart card system is a small initial investment. At entry level, the total monthly fee would be less than 100 euro including support and value added tax. The fee could be even smaller as the number of users increases, estimates Mr. Valli.
According to Mr. Valli and Mr. Torhola, the private sector is quite capable of taking care of the on-line prescription solutions and the market is large enough to support the business.
– There is no need to expand the public sector any further due to on-line prescriptions, says Mr. Valli.
– A single doctor doesn’t need to invest 12.000 euro for a patient information system to get an on-line prescription, confirms Mr. Torhola.
Technical Director Timo Valli, Pro Media Data Oy, tel. +358 (0) 44 545 2928
Managing Director Mika Torhola, Atostek Oy, tel. +358 (0) 50 412 3453
Finnish government’s proposal to parliament for new laws regulating electronic handling of prescriptions and patient data in social care and health care. The browser-based on-line solution is discussed in Section 2.3 (in Finnish):