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Built on top of Better Platform, Slovenia launches its national EU Digital COVID Certificate for over 2 million citizens in only three weeks

Published July 28, 2021
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Slovenia has launched its EU Digital COVID Certificate (a Digital Green Certificate), which was developed in only three weeks, and built on top of a clinical data repository (CDR) as a core component (for the persistence of data) of the National Centralised Patient Data Registry, all of which was powered by Better Platform. The service generates a certificate based on the persistent data available in Slovenia’s national CDR. This rapid development of a citizen certificate was made possible by an open-platform approach, which was adopted by Slovenia and separated the data from the application. The certificate document is available on-demand in digital or PDF form, with QR codes.

Accelerating the transformation for integrated care systems at scale

The fundamental prerequisite for supporting an integrated care system is a data-driven digital health platform with a standards-based, vendor-neutral clinical data repository. This enables healthcare systems to work with different vendors to develop any kind of applications without the fear of data being locked in, which is currently a major obstacle to progress among organisations using monolithic solutions.

The Covid pandemic has reinforced the notion that the most significant value of IT systems in healthcare is that they make data available when and where it is needed. That is why the integration of health information systems across a region – or a country – is a crucial foundation for successful care delivery. The pandemic pushed national health systems to quickly develop new digital solutions for health and care services, manage epidemiological data, and organise Covid tests and vaccinations. The EU Digital COVID Certificate is the latest example of a solution that was developed at this new fast pace in order to allow citizens to travel safely this summer.

The Slovenian healthcare system already had the national eHealth infrastructure needed to support Slovenia’s health and care services. It already enables document-level sharing and the mobilisation of documents produced by legacy systems and ensures the capability of putting data into an open, structured format that is technology- and vendor-neutral. It also provides an integrated care record (a centralised registry of patient data) which makes data available for any digital services instantly, at scale and volume. Currently, it contains:

  • more than 150 million health records for 2.1 million unique individuals (98% of the population);
  • more than 86% (135 million) of records in the form of structured data that uses openEHR models, with 63% of records being the core data set, or patient summary data (diagnoses, surgical procedures, vaccinations, allergies, dispensed medication, and more);
  • more than 4 million records of Covid-19 screening (test) results;
  • unstructured data that includes discharge summaries, clinical notes, opt-in statements, consent documents and other clinical data;
  • data which is sent to the national system by more than 1,250 registered healthcare providers in Slovenia;
  • a large number of queries, as, on average, healthcare providers trigger almost 10 million queries or “retrieve calls” per month.

Centralised Registry of patient Data (CRPD)new

This approach enables a rapid response and deployment with a modular and open architecture – a data-driven infrastructure built on top of Better Platform which connects healthcare providers with various clinical systems through common and open standards. The data is stored around the patient, not a healthcare institution, in a vendor-neutral clinical data repository. It provides integrated care records and serves as a single source of “truth” for the lifetime of the patient.
 
Better Platform enables an open digital health platform approach which allows for the fast development and deployment of digital solutions to manage the Covid-19 pandemic
 
Initially, the digital health platform enabled the Slovenian Ministry of Health to respond rapidly and deploy a COVID-19 screening data management solution on a county-wide level in a mere 14 days (launched in December 2020). With vaccination data available through the national eVaccination registry, there was no need for additional data to be generated solely for certificate purposes. The structured EU Digital Covid Certificate is available for different systems using the IHE XDS OnDemand profile, providing a vendor-neutral exchange of documents.
 
Ministry of Health of the Republic of Slovenia Janez Poklukar said: “We are happy that we already had the suitable IT infrastructure in place in Slovenia. It allowed us to respond quickly and provide the necessary digital solutions that support the efforts of medical and epidemiological teams to manage the pandemic, as well as to allow our citizens to travel freely.
 
The EU Digital Covid Certificate solution, developed by a third-party vendor, uses integrated care record data (demographic data, vaccination data, test result data) which is already available in the The Central Registry of Patient Data (CRPD). The data is made available through previously established services by the national Covid-19 screening data management solution and the national eVaccination registry – so there is no need for additional data to be generated solely for certificate purposes. The structured EU Digital Covid Certificate is available for different systems using the IHE XDS OnDemand profile, providing a vendor-neutral exchange of documents.
 
Digital green certificate new
 
 

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