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The Portuguese Health Data Platform (PDS)

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award

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As it happens in many EU counties today, in 2011, Portugal’s NHS had more than 500 islands of non-shared clinical information about its 10 million people. Beaten by unprecedented crisis, it was a Governmental priority, that data sharing could provide sustainability and innovation. In December 2011 the Clinical Informatics Commission (CIC) was created to launch the first version of the Portuguese Health Data Platform, as a Personal Electronic Health record, a National Electronic Mechanism to share data from federated systems, and a basis for innovation in eHealth. In 2012, SPMS was nominated as responsible for the technical implementation of all CIC projects. The PDS strategy results in a quality information platform, relevant, safe, reliable, timely and contextualised. It promotes improvement of quality and access to healthcare; health information sharing, user-centred approach while breaking professional boundaries and implements the National Strategy for Quality in Health.

PDS in a nutshell, is constituted upon a SOA architecture, allowing data fluxes between more than 600 institutional databases, the Patient Summary following EU guidelines, and satellite projects like the digital Child Bulletin, Person with Rare Disease Card, or Advanced Care Document, accessible via 4 portals:

  • Patient Portal – since May 2012, which is a free Personal Health Record, where the user can register access health information, view his NHS health data, and consume online services like booking medical appointments
  • Professional Portal – since June 2012, provides healthcare professionals access to clinical information of the patient present in other health institutions and central repositories.
  • Institutional Portal - since 2014, provides statistics regarding the use of the platform and progressively anonymised clinical information/patient registries of orphan diseases for example.
  • International Portal - since July 2013, it supports the implementation of international projects, particularly in sharing the Patient Summary allowing cross-border data-sharing as well as R&D&I project participation.

For these reasons PDS was already recognised by Portugal (it has won the President of the Republic distinction as well as an annual eGov Award) as a high-added value project for the citizens. It was created through a low-resource, phased, progressive process, taking into account IT state of the art but also the needs of governance bodies. One of its originalities was the co-architecture with the National Commission for Data Protection and its strengths the implementation side by side with IT and Clinical people from the health care units (the so-called PDS Ambassadors), an engagement that is fed by monthly regular benchmarking reports. The health professional can access the digitally available medical information of the patient which is essential in a first appointment or even more so at the emergency room. In the case of chronic diseases, professionals can additionally monitor the measurements of biometric values registered by the patient themselves via the Patient Portal. Additionally, offering alerts for appointments and the administration of vaccines, PDS also aims to promote self-management of health, in the logic of a contextualised prevention.

Portugal is also increasingly interconnected with emerging developments in Europe, PDS will be the instrument to support new needs, some being propelled by SPMS itself (www.expandproject.eu), others stemming from the cross-border healthcare directive. In the dawn of wirelessly ubiquitous IT in eHealth PDS is available on mobile platforms and growing into mobiles, wearables and teleMonitoring as part of the Portuguese Mobile Vision for eHealth.

Award info
Award category: the public sector as partner for a better society - european, national and regional level
Award type: diploma
Award year: 2015
Project type
Sector: cross-sectoral
Type of activity:
Keywords: Health data, personal health record, health services, information sharing, production knowledge and experience sharing, health innovation
Short English description: The PDS strategy results in a quality information platform, relevant, safe, reliable, timely and contextualised. It promotes improvement of quality and access to healthcare; health information sharing, user-centred approach while breaking professional boundaries and implements the National Strategy for Quality in Health.
Further information
Organisation: Shared Services of the Portuguese Ministry of Health (SPMS)
Other applicants:
Homepage:
Level of government: national level
Size of organisation: >100
Number of people involved: >15
Country: Portugal
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date:
End date:


The Portuguese Health Data Platform (PDS) (38.7364172, -9.14108920000001)
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