Report on comparison of electronic health records legislation in EU Member States published

January 16, 2015

In the frame of a direct service contract with the Consumers, Health and Food Executive Agency (Chafea) and funded by the EU Health Programme (2008-2013), Milieu Ltd. and time.lex have published a report entitled “Overview of the national laws on electronic health records in the EU Member States and their interaction with the provision of cross-border eHealth services”.

This report evaluates the national legislations and approaches of the 28 Member States when dealing with electronic health records (EHRs) with regard to various topics. These include inter alia:

  • Security aspects
  • Patient consent
  • Creation, access and update
  • Liability
  • Secondary use of EHRs
  • Interoperability of national health schemes
  • Cross-border transfer of EHRs

The report states that while EHR systems in all countries apply standardizes terminology and some form of codification to categorise health data, less than half of the countries provide in their legislation the obligation to do so. The semantic diversity is as one of the main barriers to the cross-border transfer of health data.

In addition to the comparative analysis, specific recommendations are made on a national and EU level for the different aspects. Guidelines, operational rules or even binding provisions are recommended for the implementation of a uniform approach on the EU level.

A short introduction to the report and additional material is available on joinup, a collaborative platform created by the European Commission and funded by the European Union via the Interoperability Solutions for Public Administrations (ISA) Programme:

The full report can be found here.