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Country's e-health system bulky and inconvenient, doctors say

Country's e-health system bulky and inconvenient, doctors say

by Kate OGLESBY 01.12.2021 From our online archive
The digital health system is designed to make the paperwork for medical professionals and patients less cumbersome
Inside the CHL in Strassen, one of Luxembourg's main hospitals
Inside the CHL in Strassen, one of Luxembourg's main hospitals
Photo credit: Guy Jallay

Doctors slammed Luxembourg’s efforts to increase digital record-keeping in healthcare, with the country's association of doctors and dentists on Wednesday describing the system as cumbersome and inconvenient.

The year-old system is making administrative tasks and treating patients more difficult than it needs to be, said L'Association des Médecins et Médecins-Dentistes, or AMMD. 

Because patients alone have access to all their medical records, prescriptions, pharmacy receipts, and notes from general practitioners, it is difficult to build an overall picture of an individual’s health to treat them, the group said.

If all medical professionals could access the same documents, they could communicate more easily about a patient, making it easier to treat them, the AMMD said. 

Luxembourg began rolling out a new e-health system in September 2020, aiming to open a file for everyone insured by the CNS national insurance company. The goal was allowing patients and doctors to access prescriptions and medical records online, as well as having medical bills reimbursed digitally instead of doing it on paper through the postal system.

In October 2020, the government said that more than three-quarters of people insured by Luxembourg's health service had online medical files.

Another problem with the current system is that certain health documents such as prescriptions cannot be signed online and so if digital are not valid, the AMMD said.

The group also raised questions about whether the outside companies providing the technology behind the Grand Duchy’s digital system were fairly awarded their contracts. The AMMD said it could not find any advertised or awarded public contract for digital providers until October 2021.

Around eight million documents will have to be brought online, including one  million prescriptions and a million work incapacity certificates per year, Social Security Minister Romain Schneider said last year.  

Plans for the digitised health records system have been in the pipeline for nearly 15 years.

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