Brussels Health Network is organising an e-health week from 13-17 June to familiarise city residents with their e-health files. This is a digital tool that links patients, doctors and hospitals and allows one to see a patient’s history.
The campaign “Your health in one click” will be publicised on public transport and social media. In addition, there will be information sessions in a range of municipalities and hospitals in Brussels.
The electronic file contains documents that healthcare providers can share to optimise treatment with the patient’s consent. A patient can add notes such as reminders and questions and check out their health summary to see if test results are ready. The patients themselves manage which health providers have access to the file.
The system is meant to make life easier as the file is always available, allowing the patient to understand their disease, access treatment more quickly and save time making a diagnosis.
“More than a million Brussels residents have consented to the electronic sharing of their health data and therefore hold a shared health file, sometimes without knowing it,” said Brussels Health Network. Moreover, 15,000 health providers and hospitals in the capital are connected to the network.
The European Commission is working on a pan-European platform where people and health providers can access the files
of patients more efficiently and thereby recommend lifesaving treatment faster.
The pandemic was a stark wake-up call to the need to see patient files quickly; with the launch of the Digital Health Certificate, the Commission is looking at the next step.
Belgium’s e-health initiative is part of a European trend towards digitalisation, including in the healthcare sector. But that can only work if citizens know how to use it.