Federal Ministry of Health: Bundestag votes in favor of introduction of electronic patient records

The use of electronic patient records (ePA) is widespread. THE Bundestag approved a corresponding bill from Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD). The file should be accessible to all legally insured people from 2025. It already exists, but has so far only been used with the express consent of the people concerned. In the future, their use is expected to become the norm, but patients may object.

For example, the file must provide the insured with a complete digital overview of medications. According to the Lauterbach Ministry, other important information such as doctor’s letters or diagnostic reports will also be available there from the start. The minister hopes that this innovation will lead to “better and more effective medicine”. Currently, health data is distributed or simply non-existent, which explains why misdiagnoses and unnecessary double examinations occur, he told MPs. With the electronic patient record, “the data will be there – a significant improvement from the patient’s point of view.”

Parliament also approved a proposal from Lauterbach that will make it possible to better use patient health data for research in the future. With these laws, “we are finally ushering in the digital age for the German healthcare system,” Lauterbach said. He further spoke of “a decisive step towards a new learning health system”. This will both improve cutting-edge medicine and make routine care safer.

“We give people more control”

Green Party health policy spokesperson Janosch Dahmen called it an “important day for patients”. The data would now be consolidated in one place. FDP health policy spokesman Andrew Ullmann said: “We are giving people more control over their health data.” This is important for a responsible patient.

The CDU also supports the laws “in principle”, as MP Erwin Rüddel said. They are moving in the right direction, but they also have gaps. According to him, the electronic patient file should have been more “focused on the respective services”.

Leave a comment