The Norwegian Directorate of eHealth serves Norway’s population of just over five million citizens, coordinating their national health records, as well as developing and administrating digital solutions that will improve and simplify the health sector.
The Directorate's goal in creating national health records was to enable health services to interact and collaborate more effectively, along with empowering patients to manage their own health while improving patient safety. To achieve their vision, Accenture helped develop and deliver a new digital system making national health records available when and where they’re needed by clinicians and patients alike.
Up until now, health information for Norway’s five million citizens has been stored in a number of different administrative silos. This made it difficult to gain access to a patient’s vital information.
Important patient information was difficult and time consuming for health care professionals to obtain, and the quality of information was variable and unreliable.1 In fact, a survey of emergency admissions showed that the medication list was missing for 39 percent of patients.2
To overcome these challenges, it was determined that a new system to share consistent information between all healthcare providers and give patients access to their own records—the first of its kind in Europe–was the way forward.
1 Bakken et al, Mangelfull kommunikasjon om legemiddelbruk i
primærhelsetjenesten, Tidsskr Nor Lægeforen nr. 13–14, 2007; 127:1766–9
2 Frydenberg K Brekke M, Kommunikasjon om medikamentbruk i henvisninger,
innleggelsesskriv og epikriser, Tidsskr Nor Legeforen nr. 9–10, 2011; 131: 942–5
1 Bakken et al., Inadequate communication regarding patient medication in
primary health care. The Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association no. 13–14, 2007; 127: 1766–9
2 Frydenberg K., Brekke M., Communication regarding patient medication in
referrals, admission charts and discharge reports. The Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association no. 9–10, 2011; 131: 942–5
Accenture worked with the Directorate to design and implement this new system. Starting with a pilot project that eventually extended to cover 400,000 people in four municipalities, critical patient information was collected and shared across the following:
With the success of the pilot, the national roll-out began. Accenture drew on its international experience from similar projects in Singapore and Australia, as well as experience in Norway from similar implementations in other industry sectors. An agile project plan accelerated delivery and focused attention on performance of critical systems, all while ensuring data privacy.
Accenture’s longstanding relationship with the Directorate along with the experience of working on several projects including a health reimbursement project, the national citizen-portal, and a case-management system, provided a clear understanding of the organisation’s culture and requirements.
The new digital system has taken the Directorate an important step closer to seamless information sharing across Norway’s national healthcare sector. This is Norway’s first national system for sharing clinical information across regions, health care businesses, and care levels.
All Norwegian citizens (5.2 million) have access to the system
6,000 health care personnel are using the system
The system is accessed by health personnel every 30 seconds
“A patient came in with an overdose. She withheld information about the medication she had. The national health record showed that she had dispensed a sedative medication at the pharmacy two days in advance. Health care professionals got a pointer to what dosage she might have from the national health record, and gave her the correct treatment (antidote) immediately.”
- Emergency Medical Communication Centre
Patients, too, now have visibility into the health information recorded about them. The system allows them to update their own information through a web-portal, empowering patients to take an active role in their own care. The new system is laying the foundation for future developments such as “One citizen, one record,” and for connected health and collaboration amongst all healthcare services in general.
In the meantime, patients and healthcare practitioners are benefitting from unprecedented access to shared national health records. The result is a system that meets the Directorate’s objectives of improving patient safety, enabling better interaction between health services, and empowering patients to live safer, healthier lives.