Europe prepares more effective single market for prescription drugs- empirica begins study on guidelines for cross-border ePrescription services
The recent European Union "Directive on the application of patients' rights in cross-border healthcare" stipulates in Article 11 the "Recognition of prescriptions issued in another Member State" for dispensation in any other Member State. It mandates the adoption of guidelines supporting Member States in developing the interoperability of ePrescriptions without prejudice to national rules.
In order to prepare for this, the Directorate General for Health and Consumers' Executive Agency for Health and Consumers (EAHC) has awarded a contract to empirica to produce guidelines on interoperable ePrescriptions. In a first phase of the study, empirica and its partners will analyse the present status of ePrescription in Member States of the European Union (on ePrescription, see also earlier empirica studies www.ehr-impact.eu/downloads/documents/ehr_impact_study_final.pdf and www.ehealth-strategies.eu), identify good practice, and explore the feasibility of such guidelines as well as the level of detail which may be appropriate to achieve the objectives of the single market. Close cooperation with related initiatives will be sought. These include "epSOS Smart Open Services for European Patients" - a 23 country project which designs and builds a service infrastructure that demonstrates cross-border interoperability between electronic health record systems, focusing on patient summaries and prescriptions, the eHealth Governance Initiative (eHGI) of Member States "shaping the eHealth political agenda at EU level, with a specific focus on interoperability" and others.
Based on this analysis, and with input from European experts on ePrescription legal, technical and semantic challenges, guidelines will be drafted, validated, refined and delivered to the European Commission. Initial results are expected in the second half of 2012. Final results will be presented in the fall of 2013.