In 2018, patient data exchange between EU Member States is expected to take off.
While 12 countries will start exchanging patient data on a regular basis, Sweden, Finland, Portugal, Croatia and Estonia will share electronic prescriptions. Five more countries will join the network next year.
In the months to come, the European eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure, provided by both the European Commission and the national healthcare systems, will start operating and sharing patient summaries and e-prescriptions across borders. So far, European healthcare systems have been exchanging patient data only occasionally and on a limited scale.
Most of the 12 countries that have decided to get involved in this infrastructure will exchange electronic patient summaries. The five countries mentioned above will share electronic prescriptions.
The European eHealth Digital Service Infrastructure consists of services at EU level which facilitate the generic services operated by Member States to exchange patient data and information on prescriptions with each other. It is foreseen that the Infrastructure will be fully operational by 2020. These services are meant to pave the way towards delivering sustainable eHealth systems which would exchange cross-border data and provide services.
The European Commission has made more information on this topic and related policies available here.