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Big changes for patients: This is what the Lauterbach law provides for


In order to advance digitization in the healthcare sector, the opt-out rule for electronic patient records is to be introduced.

In order to advance digitization in the healthcare sector, the opt-out rule for electronic patient records is to be introduced.

Frankfurt – Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) is planning some changes to advance the digitization of the healthcare system in Germany.

In March, the measures planned by the Federal Ministry of Health were published in the "Digitalization Strategy for Health Care and Nursing".

These include the mandatory introduction of the electronic patient file (ePA).

The aim is to achieve a nationwide conversion to the ePA by 2025.

Anyone who does not want to use this must actively object.

The ePA has been in existence since January 2021 and since July 2021, service providers such as medical practices should also be equipped with technical devices in order to fill them with data.

But of the 74 million people with statutory health insurance, only just under one percent actually use it.

So far, there has been an opt-in rule, and that means: Insured people have to apply for an ePA from the health insurance company themselves and ask the doctors to fill it out with findings.


Karl Lauterbach announces digitization strategies in healthcare


According to Lauterbach, the electronic patient file should have this benefit

That is why Karl Lauterbach would like to give the ePA an impetus by introducing the opt-out rule.

“By 2025, 80 percent of those with statutory health insurance should have an electronic patient record (ePA),” Lauterbach announced in its digitization strategy for healthcare and nursing.

He also lists the advantages of the digital patient file:

  • Increasing treatment quality

    through transparency, as risks can be identified more quickly

  • Avoid drug interactions


    Doctors and clinics can view findings and medication plans and thus prevent possible interactions between certain medications

  • Avoidance of double examinations

  • There is no time for gathering information

    , as findings in the file can be viewed immediately and do not have to be requested from other practices or clinics by post or fax

  • Better emergency care

    : Access to the ePA means that emergency treatment can be dealt with quickly.

    Emergency physicians are informed about existing diagnoses and the medication plan

  • Source: Federal Ministry of Health

In general, the file can be filled with documents by both doctors and patients.

Older findings can also be easily scanned and added independently.

Is personal data safe despite Lauterbach's Health Data Utilization Act?

Anyone who opts for the ePA can view all of their own data via the health insurance company's app and even restrict possible access.

This means that the insured decide for themselves which medical practices may have access to certain documents and which may not.

For example, if psychological reports are stored, patients can decide that they should not be reported to the orthopaedists who visit them because of knee pain.

Christian Karagiannidis, President of the German Society for Internal Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, advocates

access to the ePA to the

Tagesschau .

In an emergency, it is a life decision.

A survey commissioned by the Bertelsmann Foundation and the Münch Foundation showed that two thirds welcomed the standardized introduction of the ePA.

However, there are also some who remain skeptical.

You are afraid for your data.

The planned Health Data Utilization Act (GDNG) is leading to major discussions about data protection.

It allows the transfer of anonymous data for research purposes.

In a March 16 video by the Federal Ministry of Health on the digitization strategy, Lauterbach explains that this law is important for advancing drug research and development.

For this purpose, the data from the health insurance companies or registers should be anonymized in such a way that, according to Lauterbach, they can no longer be traced back to individual persons.

Federal Commissioner for Data Protection sees opt-out regulation for ePA uncritical

According to Tagesschau,

the central ethics committee at the German Medical Association nevertheless demands

comprehensive transparency and supervisory structures.

The population must be informed before the opt-out regulation occurs.

Professor Ulrich Kelber, Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (BfDI) also comments on the criticism of the ePA.

The ÄrzteZeitung reports that he has no data protection concerns regarding the introduction of the opt-out rule


Further digitization measures by Lauterbach are planned, such as the complete digitization of the prescription for medicinal products.

The so-called electronic prescription (e-prescription) already exists, but you still need a printed slip with a QR code to redeem it in the pharmacy.

This process should soon be complete - from the doctor's practice to redemption at the pharmacy - digitally and via the ePA or the app.


List of rubrics: ©

Source: merkur

All life articles on 2023-03-28

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