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The Basque Country’s selection to pilot the interoperable electronic prescription project in Europe

2021 July 14

The Basque Country has passed the technical and functional development environment tests and an audit by the European Commission confirming that it meets all requirements.

Since the launch of electronic prescription interoperability in the Basque Country in January 2018, 3,857,588 dispensations have been made to Basque citizens in pharmacies in other autonomous communities.

The “e-rezeta”, the Basque Health Service (Osakidetza) electronic prescription will be able to be used by 2022 across Europe. The Ministry of Health has selected the Basque Country to pilot the European interoperable electronic prescription project along with two other communities. The programme aims for EU citizens to obtain their medication at any pharmacy in any other EU country thanks to the online transfer of their electronic prescription from their country of residence to the country they are travelling to.

Interoperability will be available during its initial stage in 2022 between the territories selected and those in charge of piloting the scheme, namely, Portugal, Finland, Poland, Sweden and Estonia. The Osakidetza electronic card can be used in any country from the European Union by 2025.

During this piloting stage, the European Commission will analyse the Basque Country model to allow it to be integrated into the European interoperable electronic prescription platform. The Basque Country has actually already passed the technical and functional development environment tests as well as a recent stringent audit by the European Commission, which assessed whether the Member States meet the requirements for the interconnection of health services in legal and organisational terms, in terms of incident management procedures and processes, security and technical and semantics.

All countries must pass the audit in order to participate during the final production stage that the Basque Country will launch in October. It is hoped that Basque citizens will be able to collect their medication with their health card at any pharmacy in Portugal, Poland, Finland, Sweden and Estonia by 2022 following the preparation and adjustment stage of the respective computer systems of the regions and countries that participate in the project that will take about six months, and for users from those countries to be able to do the same when they are in the Basque Country.

The interoperability of electronic prescriptions in the Basque Country was implemented in January 2018 and medication can be accessed at any pharmacy in the state by showing the Individual Health Card, thanks to the interoperability between communities. Since its launch date, a total of 317,843 Basque citizens have obtained their medication from pharmacies in other Autonomous Communities.

3,857,588 dispensations have been made to Basque citizens with the interoperable Basque e-rezeta in pharmacies in other autonomous communities. This has been most highly used in Castilla León, with 1,259,783 dispensations followed by Cantabria with 712,909, the Valencian Community with 359,319, Galicia with 313,142 and La Rioja with 304,512 dispensations.

Basque pharmacies, meanwhile, have dealt with 63,254 patients from other communities, making a total of 449,567 dispensations: 89,328 in Araba, 222,705 in Bizkaia and 137,534 in Gipuzkoa. The vast majority of these dispensations came from Castilla León (90,189), Madrid (56,110) and Cantabria (52,217). 0.49% of the total of 35,268,148 dispensations issued using the e-rezeta by the pharmacies in the Basque Country in 2020 were from the interoperability scheme.

 

The e-rezeta adds safety and comfort for users, standing out for its availability, performance and efficiency and has almost completely replaced the paper prescription. 98.91% of prescriptions invoiced in 2021 were electronic

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