University of Oulu

Hyppönen, H., Lumme, S., Reponen, J., Vänskä, J., Kaipio, J., Heponiemi, T., & Lääveri, T. (2019). Health information exchange in Finland: Usage of different access types and predictors of paper use. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 122, 1–6.

Health information exchange in Finland : usage of different access types and predictors of paper use

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Author: Hyppönen, Hannele1; Lumme, Sonja1; Reponen, Jarmo2,3;
Organizations: 1National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Department of Health and Social Care Systems, P.O Box 30, FI-00271, Helsinki, Finland
2University of Oulu, Finntelemedicum, Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, Oulu, Finland
3Hospital of Raahe, Department of Radiology, Raahe, Finland
4Finnish Medical Association (FMA), Helsinki, Finland
5Aalto University School of Science, Department of Computer Science, Espoo, Finland
6Inflammation Center, Clinic of Infectious Diseases, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Hospital, POB 348, FI-00029, HUS, Helsinki, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 7.7 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-10-16


Introduction: Timely, complete and accurate patient data is needed in care decisions along the continuum of care. To access patient data from other organizations, there are three types of regional health information exchange systems (RHIS) in use In Finland. Some regions use multiple RHISs while others do not have a RHIS available. The recently introduced National Patient Data Repository (Kanta) is increasingly used for health information exchange (HIE).

Objectives: The purpose of this study was to assess usage of paper, RHISs and Kanta by context in 2017; evolution of paper use over the years; and predictors of paper use in 2017 among Finnish physicians for HIE system development.

Methods: Data from national electronic health record (EHR) usage and user experience surveys were taken from 2010 (prior to ePrescription system implementation), 2014 (prior to implementation of Kanta) and 2017 (Kanta was in full use in the public sector and in large private organizations). The web-based surveys were targeted to all physicians engaged in clinical work in Finland.

Results: Kanta was the most frequently used means of HIE in 2017. Paper use had reduced significantly from 2010 to 2014. The trend continued in 2017. Still, up to half of the physicians reported using paper daily or weekly in 2017. There were great variations in paper use by healthcare sector, available RHIS type and EHR system used. In multivariable analysis (with all other variables constant), predictors of more frequent use of paper than electronic means for HIE were: private sector or hospital, access to Master Patient Index RHIS (type 1), multiple RHIS (type 4) or no RHIS (type 5), two particular EHR systems, older age, less experience, operative, psychiatric or diagnostic specialties, and male gender.

Conclusions: Usability of HIE systems including EHRs as access points to HIE need to be improved to facilitate usage of electronic HIE. Usage ensures more timely and complete patient data for safe, coordinated care. Specialty-specific needs and requirements call for more user participation in HIE design. Especially older professionals need training to better exploit HIS for HIE.

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Series: International journal of medical informatics
ISSN: 1386-5056
ISSN-E: 1872-8243
ISSN-L: 1386-5056
Volume: 122
Pages: 1 - 6
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2018.11.005
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
217 Medical engineering
Funding: This study was supported by the Finnish Work Environment Fund (project 116104), the Strategic Research Council (project 303604) and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (project 112241).
Copyright information: © 2019. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http:/