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Electronic health records

Finance Finland (FFI), the Social Insurance Institution Kela, the Finnish Transport Safety Agency Trafi and the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health have made a sustainable development commitment to promote the digitalisation of health records. The commitment aims at reducing carbon footprints, improving customer equality, and increasing resource efficiency.

Process descriptions for the commitment were made in cooperation with FFI members Elo, Ilmarinen, Varma, If and LocalTapiola. The overall objective of the commitment is to digitalise the exchange of all health information as comprehensively as possible. Such information includes, for example, various kinds of medical certificates.

Digitalisation has many benefits

Each year, a stream of hundreds of thousands of health records crisscrosses between health care units, Kela, Trafi, and pension and non-life insurance companies. Medical certificates are needed in decisions made on benefits, pensions and insurance claims as well as for driver's licences. Most of this information is delivered on paper.

Preliminary calculations indicate that the digitalisation of health records will be beneficial in several different ways. Automation speeds up the handling of health records and also shortens their turnaround time in different processing stages, eliminates overlaps, reduces manual work required in the handling of paper forms and documents, and cuts down mail volumes. Better efficiency means smaller carbon footprint and reduced climate impact.

The commitment assesses the climate impact of the reform by calculating the carbon footprint of health information exchange and then monitoring its development annually based on the degree of digitalisation. The assessment on the benefits and impact of digitalisation will be complete in late 2017, after which the results will be reported annually.

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