The total number of medical check-ups registered electronically through the National Health Information System (NHIS) exceeded 47 million in the last 18 months. Data from Information Services JSC. shows that on average per day, more than 130,000 electronic examinations are registered by more than 13,500 medical practices across the country, and the total number of doctors using electronic documentation of examinations has exceeded 17,000. The NHIS enables complete electronic documentation and storage of all medical examinations performed. The e-Review module is an essential part of each user’s personal medical record and enables all citizens to have complete traceability of illnesses, diagnoses, therapies prescribed, tests, etc. Patients no longer have to keep and carry all the paper outpatient sheets issued to them, nor remember what medication they have been prescribed and how it has affected them. All information is available electronically and can be accessed at any time.
“The electronicisation of healthcare processes is entirely aimed at protecting patients’ rights”, explained the Executive Director of Information Services JSC., Ivaylo Filippov. In his words, through the personal medical record, which is accessible through the web portal my.his.bg and the mobile application “eHealth”, citizens can control the healthcare system, protect it from abuse and drainage of public funds. “Digitalisation significantly improves the transparency and quality of healthcare services in Bulgaria,” Filipov added. Through the NHIS, authorised authorities receive structured medical data that is used to perform various analyses, planning and forecasting.
Data from the NHSI shows that in less than 2.5 years, the total number of e-prescriptions issued has exceeded 34 million. On average per day, the centralised online prescribing and dispensing system processes over 68 thousand e-prescriptions. In less than a month since the new functionality was introduced in the system, more than 410 thousand e-prescriptions for medicines containing narcotic substances have been written. The e-prescription module is effectively used by nearly 3 600 pharmacies across the country and over 4 300 pharmacists. The online prescribing and dispensing system has drastically reduced the risk of inappropriate dispensing of medicines and provided maximum relief to patients, doctors and pharmacists. By digitizing the process, it virtually eliminated the possibility of processing a wrong, duplicate, expired or fraudulent prescription. Patients can monitor the prescription’s turnaround time, as well as check their prescribed medication and the specific instructions for its administration at any time.
The e-referral platform, which was launched in early December 2020, is also showing impressive results. Nearly 30 million e-referrals have been issued through the NHIS, with the system generating on average more than 72 thousand referrals per day. Both the actual referrals issued and those already implemented can be seen in the patient record.
The number of e-hospitalizations in hospitals exceeded 2 million. The module for electronic processing of admitted patients allows hospitals to electronically submit the activities performed in terms of hospitalization, dehospitalization, laboratory tests, consultations, issuance of epicrises, etc. On average, 10 000 electronic hospital admissions are registered per day by 351 hospitals in the country.
“The introduction of electronic services in healthcare saves tons of paper, which until recently was used for issuing prescriptions, referrals, hospitalizations, epicrises, etc.,” said Ivaylo Filippov. He said the digitisation of processes helps save thousands of acres of wood and millions of litres of water that are needed for paper production. “Environmental protection and the reduction of harmful emissions are a top priority for Information Services,” added Filippov.
Despite the impressive numbers, the majority of the electronic records registered in the system are still under funding from the National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF), which limits the completeness of patients’ medical histories. The NHIS is designed to handle all patient medical events – examinations, prescriptions, tests, immunizations and other records regardless of the funding source and each module in the system provides the necessary technical support.
Source: Information Services JSC.