EuroRec: Euroropean institute for health records

The Institute in perspective

The objectives of the Institute

According to its Articles of association, the objectives of the Institute are:

  1. To federate the established ProRec centres that comply with a set of explicit criteria.
  2. To develop specifically those activities that cannot be handled at the level of ProRec centres and/or within their scope, according to the principle of subsidiarity and in view of both synergy and economy of scale. This implies ipso facto that the activities of the Institute will have a multinational or transnational character.

Those activities that provide a response to an actual need for the development, implementation and use of quality EHR systems, are not, or need not be, tackled at the national level but need to be developed at the European level. Examples of such activities encompass for instance:

  • identifying the characteristics of products found on the market, in order to
    • help to devise terms of reference for invitations to tender
    • help to analyse bids
    • establish quality labelling for EHR systems
  • facilitating data and information interchange, as well as interoperability of EHRs, by helping developers, implementers, and users find their way in an increasingly complex world of product offers, components and building blocks, standards and specifications, and terminological systems (thesauri, classifications, and coding schemes). In this way those products and information elements can be accessed more easily. The above may take the form of a variety of registers following updated inventories of what is available and revelant.

This clearly means that the Institute has to record and maintain in registers the accurate and relevant information its members or simply any health stakeholder may need, relying on the expertise existing in the national ProRec centres.

Moreover, the Institute is currently drawing up a plan, together with DG "Enterprise", to implement the process of Quality Labelling of EHR systems in the European Union. Is this currently relevant?

It is not in the objectives of the EuroRec Institute to act as a Standards Development Organisation or Authority

Conversely, its mission consists of supporting the standards, either published or in preparation by standards organisations or authorities, and raising the level of awareness of their existence and content in the suppliers' and users' communities. This is also the case for the national ProRec centres, inasmuch as their implementation represents a significant criterion for good quality EHR systems. Notwithstanding this, a number of leading members of the EuroRec Institute are already members of CEN TC251 and members of national ProRec centres, in a number of countries, also participate in committees of national standards authorities.

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The financial policy of the Institute

In line with the requirements of the Commission, the Institute must become self-sufficient and sustainable into the future. This means that its activities have to be self-supporting and financially sound, even, or particularly if, they require that personnel is appointed to perform these. Its financial policy and plans are based on this premise.

Being registered as a non-profit organisation under French law, the Institute may not develop profit-making activities to the benefit of its directors. It is nevertheless allowed to develop commercial activities, provided that they do not infringe on the market and compete with commercial organisations. Furthermore, within this legal framework, a non-profit organisation, if it makes profits, is not allowed to invest on the financial market; the amount of available cash has to be kept within reasonable limits.

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Proposal to provide Quality Labelling and Certification Services for EHRs

Given its objectives, the fact that it is a non-profit organisation, the background and expertise of its members, and the existence of a network of ProRec centres across Europe, the EuroRec Institute is ideally placed to be recognised as the legitimate provider of Quality Labelling and Certification Services for EHRs in Europe. Moreover it can be seen to have the necessary independence, impartiality and competence to provide such services. The Institute will aim as part of its business plan to generate the full confidence of all stakeholder in Europe, healthcare provider policy/decision makers, clinicians and other end users, systems developers and vendors, and citizens/patients, in the reliability of these services.

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