Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik has signed an order to allocate the Estonian Family Medicine Association €435,000 for analyzing software needs in the family medicine system.
The aim of support is to arrive at more user-friendly IT solutions with the potential of supporting family doctors' daily work, the Ministry of Social Affairs writes in a press release.
"For the family physician and their team to work as effectively as possible, their working environment and the doctor's primary tool – their information system – must support it," the social minister said. "We plan to have new and modern family medicine centers all over Estonia by 2023 that will change family doctors' work organization," Kiik said. This requires new more modern IT solutions to support cooperation with other specialists and save time, he added.
The instrument aims to map the software needs of the family medicine system, compare possibilities offered by existing software and doctors' needs and update software already in use. The analysis will result in a description of future family medicine software to correspond to the needs of medical teams as well as national healthcare development plans.
"Family doctors and nurses have for a long time awaited state support in analyzing everyday IT solutions, and this support instrument constitutes a major step in that direction," said Andres Lasn, head of the family doctors' association and deputy chairman of the family medicine IT council. "The Estonian Family Medicine Association plans to use the instrument to systematically analyze what first contact care medical workers need from software for it to support patient-centered, consistent and universally available family medical care."
Analysis and development of family medicine software is funded from the European Regional Development Fund in 2019-2023 in the volume of €326,252, with the Estonian state pledging €108,750.
Editor: Marcus Turovski