The digitization of healthcare in the Czech Republic has hit a snag, as key areas remain non-functional. This was pointed out by the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ), which highlighted that sharing medical data about patients is still not working, complicating the work of doctors.
The NKÚ examined how the funds allocated for improving the efficiency of the healthcare system and the development of infrastructure and administration of electronic healthcare were utilized between 2019 and 2022.
The audit found that the proposal for the digitization of healthcare was submitted late and without key areas. “(The Ministry) omitted parts regulating emergent records, personal health records, and the index of health documentation. As a result, one of the fundamental visions, namely patient-oriented healthcare, was not fulfilled,” stated the NKÚ.
Consequently, there is no reliable system for sharing patient data except for documentation to ensure the performance and management of hygiene and anti-epidemic activities.
“The situation persists that doctors cannot efficiently access all the necessary and existing information about a patient in critical situations,” warned the audit, noting that the Ministry has postponed achieving the set goals until 2026.
The delayed progress in the digitization of healthcare raises concerns about the effectiveness and accessibility of medical data. Addressing the existing obstacles and ensuring the functional sharing of information among healthcare professionals is crucial.
Efforts must be made to prioritize fulfilling the patient-oriented vision, enabling doctors to access comprehensive patient information promptly. This would contribute to more efficient and effective healthcare delivery.
The Ministry should take immediate action to expedite the implementation of the electronic healthcare system, ensuring that all key areas are addressed and functional. Collaboration between government agencies, healthcare providers, and technology experts is essential to overcome current challenges and successfully digitize.