The European Commission has begun its tendering process for a large scale pilot of an EU wide implementation of eHealth services to support continuity of care.

Speaking at the EC’s ICT Policy Support Programme – Work Programme 2007 launch day in Brussels on 24 May, Dr Gérard Comyn, head of the EC’s ICT for Health unit, said that a call will be made for businesses to take part in a €12m project aiming at testing and showing the value of ICT-based solutions for citizens, governments and businesses.

Dr Comyn told E-Health Europe: “The ultimate goal of the policies supported by the eHealth theme is to ensure the implementation of EU-wide interoperable health services. The approach is to build on existing national/regional solutions, expertise or experience, and to progress step by step.”

The pilot will look at two specific sets of services – an EU wide implementation of patient’s summary to support continuity of care and an EU wide implementation of ePrescription solutions to support continuity of care.

In a statement from Dr Comyn’s office, EHE was told: “A main focus in 2007 will be on pilot actions addressing the EU wide implementation of patient’s summaries or Emergency Data Set as well as electronic medication records and ePrescription to support continuity of care. This will be complemented by activities supporting experience sharing and consensus building in eHealth.

“The expected outcome is an integrated pilot solution based on common specifications and building blocks. If successful, it will have a great impact on EC eHealth including higher patient mobility across Europe facilitating access to healthcare, reduction of bureaucratic barriers and waiting lists. It will also bring about improved quality of care, improved efficiency gains and improved efficiency of healthcare systems.”

The aim of the pilot is to create a patient’s summary, which has a minimum data set containing essential information needed in case of unexpected or unscheduled care, providing continuity of care, contributing to patient safety and having one summary record including all its associated components such as identifiers, authentication and security mechanisms.

This will combine with ePrescription solutions as a set of at least three types of application, namely electronic medication records, decision support systems, electronic transmission of prescriptions. The plot shall cover at least, but not exclusively, electronic medication records, making available essential administrative, clinical data related to medicines (medication history, prescription patterns etc) and contributing to the development of an internal market for pharmaceuticals

Anyone from an EU member state is invited to participate in this project, and a consortium will be formed after the closing date with the chosen participants.

The consortium must involve public bodies or implementation authorities which are already operating nationally or regionally in the relevant areas.

A call has also been made to set up a thematic network looking at the creation of a European coordination network looking at eHealth interoperability implementation and how to facilitate a wider implementation of RFID applications in the healthcare sector.

The objective is to mobilise stakeholders in order to ensure higher consistency in eHealth implementation actions and improve experience sharing and consensus building in the field.

A call fiche for these two projects has now been launched and participants are invited to apply. The closing date is 23 October, at 1700 hours Brussels time.

For a full look at the tender visit: