The Electronic Health Record (EHR)

The Electronic Health Record (EHR) is the tool through which citizens can trace and consult the entire history of their health care life, sharing it with healthcare professionals to ensure a more effective and efficient service.

All information and documents that make up the EHR are made interoperable to allow its consultation and its population throughout the country and not only in the region of residence of the patient. This allows the patient greater freedom in the choice of treatment and in the sharing of information which is all available through access to the EHR by the health professionals.

In addition, access to the EHR by health professionals, especially in emergency situations, allows them to know everything that is needed to intervene promptly and guarantee results.

The role of the patient

The patient is at the centre of the system with his or her health history and every medical action that concerns him is tracked and coded, also avoiding the repetition of unnecessary clinical investigations. All this takes place in compliance with the conditions defined by the patient himself at the time of the first access to the EHR and can be modified at any time. In fact, the assisted person can choose who is authorized to consult his EHR, under which conditions and also which data, thus also choosing the obscuring of some information and also having the visibility of whom and when he had access to his EHR.

The objectives and aims

The Electronic Health Record is defined by the legislation as the set of digital health and socio-health data and documents generated by present and past clinical events concerning the patient, and has as its main objectives:

  • to facilitate patient care;
  • to offer a service that can facilitate the integration of different professional skills;
  • to provide a consistent information base.

The EHR is established by the regions and autonomous provinces, in compliance with current legislation on the protection of personal data, and pertains to a wide range of activities relating to the provision of health services, from prevention to verification of the quality of care. Specifically, the initiative has the aim of an overall improvement of the quality of services regarding:

  1. prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation;
  2. study and scientific research in the medical, biomedical and epidemiological fields;
  3. health planning, verification of the quality of care and evaluation of health care.

The EHR therefore represents a pillar within the initiatives that are part of the way towards Digital Health, as well as being the main enabling factor for achieving significant increases in the quality of services provided in the health sector and in efficiency, thanks to the containment and optimization of the costs associated with it. The dossier will allow, in particular, the construction of a single point for sharing and aggregating relevant information and all health and socio-health documents relating to the citizen, generated by the various representatives of the National Health Service (NHS) and by the regional health and social services.

The Electronic Health Record is the first manifestation of the e-Health culture in Italy with which an architecture is designed at the complete service of the interaction between health professionals - between General Practitioner (GP) or the Pediatrician and the specialist - and between the citizen and the doctor. The effective implementation of the EHR at national level and its subsequent dissemination will also be able to generate huge savings related to the dematerialization of paper, but also to enable a phase of complete review of clinical and administrative processes as well as of the entire health organization public.

Last update: 06/08/2021