When it comes to electronic health services, Sweden is the world leader
Do you need practical advice about a disease? Or maybe you want to compare the health centers in your area and know what other users think of them. Either way, 1177.is there to help you. It is a public service website that provides health information to Swedish citizens - and it is the first such network in the world.
The website is jointly owned by all counties in Sweden and the health regions, and is a resource that anyone can use when they need reliable professional advice on health and diseases, anywhere in the country. It is closely related to the telephone information service 1177, since both are based on the same medical database.
1177.se is a product of the Swedish National IT Strategy, formulated for the first time in 2006, whose main objective was to prepare the way to a better health service. This led to the Patient Data Law, which modernized the patient registration systems of all hospitals, as well as the infrastructure necessary to safely log in to these systems.
Health care beyond borders
In early 2010, the National IT Strategy expanded its municipal focus. Several new services were introduced, and Inera AB (formerly SVR), a software company jointly owned by the Swedish counties, was responsible for implementing them.
Another result of this initiative is the General Overview of the National Patient (NPÖ - www.cehis.se ), a new portal that allows the medical team to read patients' medical records beyond the municipal and provincial borders. The doctors enter with the SITHS electronic card that guarantees absolute reserve when handling the patient's data. This service will greatly improve patient safety and make the work of the staff faster and easier. Either way, with or without the SITHS card, people's consent is still necessary before any health professional can enter their medical history, says Lars Petter, a spokesperson for Inera AB.
The digital lifeguards of Stockholm
Another innovation is the SMSLivräddare Project (life-saving text message). Each year, 900 Stockholm citizens suffer a cardiac arrest far from a hospital. Most do not survive. That is why, in April 2010, the Södersjukhuset Hospital and the Karolinska Institute presented the SMSLivräddare system, which allows people in Stockholm with knowledge about cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to use their skills to help.
It is a unique project that uses GPS tracking to increase the likelihood of surviving in the event of cardiac arrest outside hospitals. When the emergency services receive an alarm about a possible cardiac arrest, a member of the project is oriented towards the person in distress through his cell phone. So far, nearly 1,000 potential "lifeguards" have already been registered , demonstrating how technology can be used in ways never before imagined.
Extracted from the Swedish Digital supplement of our magazine
"It's a relief not to have to talk to my doctor every time I have to renew a prescription, I just used my personal code to send you a message online, the pharmacy has it ready for you to pick it up the next day."
Monica Nilsson, 52 years old, freelance journalist, Åmål
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