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Smart Open Services - Open eHealth Initiative for a European Large Scale Pilot of Patient Summary and Electronic Prescription (epSOS)
Start date: Jul 1, 2008, End date: Jun 30, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Description SOS project becomes Smart Open Services for European Patients (epSOS) to better reflect the focus on patient needs.Patient summaries and ePrescriptionsPatient summaries and electronic prescriptions (ePrescriptions) are two key services that enable high quality medical care. Such health records provide health professionals with essential information on the medical and medication history of the patient. In many situations access to such information can save lives (for example in case of allergies to medications, chronic conditions, blood disorders). The epSOS project is a first step in addressing problems faced by doctors treating patients who seek health treatment when abroad. These problems include re-supplying essential medication that a patient has lost or forgotten, communicating medical situations to foreign-language doctors, diagnosing illness and prescribing proper medication with little knowledge of patient history. Several Member States have implemented these services in their national healthcare systems and several others are about to do so. However, many of them cannot currently communicate with each other.These services will only be widely used if they are trusted by both patients and healthcare professionals. Appropriate data protection, system security and performance criteria need to be included in any cross border application. ObjectiveThe objective of the epSOS project is to ensure that these national solutions can “talk to each other”. epSOS aims at enabling health professionals to electronically access the data of a patient from another country in their own language, using different technologies and systems. It will also make it possible for pharmacies to electronically process prescriptions from other Member States, so that patients travelling within the EU can obtain the essential medicine.The approach The project follows a bottom-up approach; it builds on existing technical solutions, and develops a set of specifications to ensure the interoperability of solutions, including security and identification systems and performance criteria.The project will examine the level of maturity and deployment of patient summaries and ePrescriptions in the participating countries, and explore legal questions and develop technical specifications covering all basic components for a secure use of personal health data. In a second phase, the project will define, test and validate these solutions in real-life situations.The approach will form the basis for a longer term, pan-European approach to building service solutions that will be able to work with each other.The project responds to the commitment of Member States and the European Commission to achieve full interoperability of eHealth services. It will benefit from guidance provided by the Commission on how to make electronic health record systems work together.

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