The strategy for utilizing information technology in the field of social welfare and health care in Finland was published in 1996. It was redefined in the year 2006. This updated strategy defined basic principles how digitized EHRs should be stored, accessed, disclosed and archived. The strategy together with new legislation opened the right to patients and citizens to access their own EHRs, ePrescriptions and audit-logs via the Internet. A national WEB-service platform forms the base for both public and private eHealth applications. National identification and PKI-services cover health professionals, patients and entities. Citizen’s consent management is provided at national level. The access to personal health information is managed using rules derived from legislation. The roll-out of the national health information infrastructure with citizen access to personal health information should by law be finalized before the end of 2011. The implementation of the NHII is demanding, but the real challenge is to clearly understand what the impacts of citizen access to personal health information are and to what direction this kind of services should be developed. At the present state, the Finnish EHR-archive contains only information created by a health professional. Citizens’ eHealth services can not be limited to the use of regulated EHR data and ePrescriptions. For health promotion, proactive prevention and health prediction more comprehensive information is needed. Therefore the next step is to develop legislation and to build a trusted environment for the use and access of heterogeneous health and welfare information.
Ruotsalainen, Pekka, Iivari, Anna-Kaisa, Doupi, Persephone, Medical and Care Compunetics 5, 2008, 379-85