Programme no. 536-OP
Quality Improvement
Digital prescribing in Europa - overview on the bases of questionnaire filled up by experts in each country.
Katrin Martinson*1, Le Vallikivi*2
1Linnamõisa Perearstikeskus,Tallinn,Estonia, 2Medicum ,Tallinn,Estonia
* = Presenting author

We decided to get an overview about prescribing systems and habits in Europa.


In Estonia the nationwide digital prescribing system has been in use from 01.01.2010.

We wanted to know what kind of prescription systems are used in other european countries.


There is a big variety in Europe in using prescribing systems. There are 6 countries from 25 using the nationwide digital prescribing system . There are 12 countries which do not use digital prescribing. From them in 2 have no active discussions about that theme in society. In other countries digital prescribing is described as regional (4) or between selected partners (3). We also asked about future – 7 countries prepare to use digital prescribing in near future.

Central prescription-database exists in 11 of countries. Some of countries use automatic decision – support systems consisting different warnings and reminders, helping to follow the guidelines.

How does the patient get the renewals of prescription and what are the possibilities for doctor to prescribe medicine outside of office? 11 of countries allow the renewal only by the doctors/nurses appointment, the others offer the possibility to phone or e-mail, 5 countries allow the renewals via pharmacy. The doctors use paper prescriptions outside of office in 13 countries, the rest of countries allow prescription via table or smartphone, remote-to-desktop possibility or phoning to pharmacy, in some countries it can be sent by fax.

Feedback to doctors (medical service providers) is given centrally in 15 of 25 countries, mostly about guideline – follow-up, but also about generic medication prescribing and medical service expencies.We also asked to describe benefits and harms of digital prescribing system from the view of patient/doctor/pharmacist/state.


We used the the network of EquiP members as country representers (as experts) to fill the questionnaire about digital prescribing in their countries. For clarifying and explaining (if needed) we turned towards the experts via e – mail. We got the answers from 25 countries.


The digiprescribing was considered convinient , timesaving and safe with benefits of statistics and backfeed from the authorities. The negative aspects are the delicate data protection and IT- connection disturbances, also the danger to loose of doctor/patient relationship.

Points for discussion:

nationwide digiprescribing - what in future?