EHR/EMR

Two pharmacy PHR projects launched in Germany

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Two new pilots are underway to offer pharmacy personal health records (PHRs) in Germany. Both are based on a PHR including details of current medication and offer patients the potential to offer prescription ordering online. In the first of the two projects e-health vendor CompuGroup is partnering with the pioneering Dutch mail-order pharmacy DocMorris to offer PHRs containing details of medical records and a list of the patient’s current medications. The second project is a joint venture between the PHR solution provider careon and ADV, a medium sized pharmacy IT specialist, active in German-speaking markets. As well as running a mail-order pharmacy, DocMorris also runs a marketing network in Germany which has around 90 independent pharmacies as paying members. Two of these DocMorris pharmacies in Cologne are offering access to CompuGroup’s ‘vita-XPHR’ for customers via a terminal in the pharmacy. The patients use a personal smartcard to access their PHR. “For the moment, the project is primarily directed at patients of 400 doctors in private practice who form a care network in the Cologne area”, Peter Weber CompuGroup’s project manager told E-Health Europe. Doctors in the private network use the vita-X PHR to share medical documents. A list of current medications forms a core part of the record. Access to the data is granted via a smartcard which the patient carries with them. “In the two DocMorris pharmacies, the patients of the Cologne care network can now use their smartcard to access their PHR and to print a medication list”, says head of sales at DocMorris, Thomas Schiffer. The medication list is then handed over to the pharmacist who checks drug safety and medication interactions. In return for using the system, the customer gets a five per cent discount on any over-the-counter-products he might want to buy. “For the moment, our goal is to see how customers react to using a smartcard and computer terminal in the pharmacy”, said Schiffer. If the six-month project is a success, the terminals could be rolled out to further DocMorris pharmacies. The results will be particularly interesting in light of the experience of the national German smartcard project where citizens will be expected to access personal medical data, electronic prescriptions and the like via computer terminals in hospitals or pharmacies. In the long run, DocMorris also has a strategic interest in the development of PHRs. The Dutch company is a pharmacy label as well as a mail-order pharmacy, and aware of the possibility of offering mail-order medication as part of a personal health record. In this scenario, a patient would use their smartcard at home to open his PHR and see not only personal medical data, but also have the option to order medication directly via the internet

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