Denmark is an international front-runner when it comes to digital health.
The Danish healthcare system is characterised by extensive digitisation, electronic communication between healthcare providers and systematic use of data and digitised working procedures. This has improved patient treatment and safety, reduced paper-based workflows for employees and enabled better utilisation of resources.
The prevalence of common IT standards has revolutionised workflows and electronic communication among healthcare providers in Denmark, including hospitals, GPs, specialists, laboratories, local authorities, and home care services. For example, all GPs keep electronic health records (EHRs) and receive all laboratory test results from the hospitals electronically. In fact, electronic prescriptions make up to 99 per cent of all prescriptions that are sent to the pharmacies. Similarly, 97 per cent of all referrals to hospitals and all referrals to medical specialists and psychologists are made electronically, enhancing communication and efficiency across the healthcare system.
Digital solutions are developed and implemented on a national level, such as the Shared Medication Record and the national e-health portal called Sundhed.dk. With these solutions integrated in the healthcare system, Denmark has a solid foundation for further digitalisation of the healthcare system.
Denmark, like many other countries, is also facing growing labour shortage and demographic challenges, putting massive pressure on the healthcare system. In order to futureproof the healthcare system, the next big step in the digital transformation is to bring healthcare closer to citizens and support treatment through digital solutions and new technology. Many patients are self-reliant and have the resources to actively engage in digital interactions. As a result, there is a growing expectation for healthcare services to be accessible through digital platforms, apps, health portals, and other digital means.
With digital solutions, automation, and better use of new technologies and data, workflows can be streamlined and new ways to deliver healthcare services can be developed to approach the healthcare needs of the future.
Strongholds within Digitalisation
A key element for e-health in Denmark is the Danish Civil Registration System that allows unique digital identification of every citizen.
A digital healthcare system is key to ensure that patients experience coherent treatment across all sectors.