Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach hopes that electronic prescriptions will be introduced across the board in early 2024, reports the dpa. “Honestly, it is no longer justifiable that we are still printing out prescriptions on paper these days,” said Lauterbach at the presentation of the e-prescription in Berlin. “We are a developing country when it comes to digitizing our healthcare system. Unfortunately, that’s the way it is, so we need to catch up.”
This race to catch up starts with the e-prescription and continues with the electronic patient file (ePA). Since July it has been possible in the first pharmacies to call up an e-prescription using the electronic health card. “I assume that 2.4 million e-prescriptions have been redeemed up to now. And so far the experiences have been very positive,” said Lauterbach.
The e-prescription has been around since the beginning of 2022. The possibility, also demanded by doctors, of redeeming prescriptions via the electronic health card should help to achieve a breakthrough. When starting the possibility, however, there was a problem at first. In addition, some medical practices are not yet issuing the e-prescription due to technical problems.
E-prescriptions will be mandatory for doctors from 2024
For doctors, the e-prescription should become mandatory from January 1, 2024. One of the prerequisites is a connector, a particularly secure router for connecting to the “healthcare data superhighway”. There, e-prescriptions are stored on a central e-prescription server. When the electronic health card is inserted, pharmacies are authorized to call up the e-prescriptions of the insured person from the e-prescription specialist service. In 2025 there should also be electronic patient files for everyone who does not object.
Those who refuse would face consequences, Apotheke Adhoc quoted the Federal Minister of Health as saying. However, if the technology does not work, there are no sanctions. According to Apotheke Adhoc, he doesn’t think it’s possible that doctors might be able to get out of the system because of reservations about the “transparent patient”. He described this as “unsolidarity”. The doctors were trained with public funds and had already earned well from the patients. The planned digitization laws should be brought through the cabinet quickly.
Update 08/09/2023 1:54 p.m
Information from Apotheke Adhoc added to the last paragraph.
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