MP's to discuss new law on electronic patient data exchange in healthcare
The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of the Dutch parliament, will debate Health Minister Ernst Kuipers’ new law for the electronic exchange of patient data next week. Kuipers wants to make data sharing between healthcare professional smoother and easier, but several parties in the Kamer are worried about patients’ privacy.
The Electronic Data Exchange in Healthcare Act will oblige healthcare providers to exchange patients’ data with each other electronically. Currently, this data is still often exchanged via fax or physical data carriers like DVD. According to Kuipers, this hinders the quality of patients’ care.
A uniform method of data exchange will not only make it easier for healthcare providers but also prevent avoidable errors in care provision and medication, Kuipers believes. It can also prevent patients from having to undergo unnecessary procedures.
While the Tweede Kamer sees the new law's benefits, parliamentarians have concerns. The CDA, in particular, worries that the law is not strict enough when it comes to guaranteeing patients’ privacy. The PVV, SP, and GroenLinks share the concerns.
The CDA party proposed many changes, including limiting the power of IT suppliers and imposing additional requirements on software developers. The party also wants financial support for healthcare providers who will have to spend an unanticipated amount on a new system for data exchange.