Pilot project to test data access, security, and efficiency:Health eCard Initiative Launches in Bulgaria

October 10, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
The eCard initiative includes seven physicians, four pharmacies and 1,000 patients who are testing the eCard’s secure identification and authentication procedures, as well as the issuing and dispensing of electronic prescriptions. The eCard system introduces a secure communications infrastructure that can later be upgraded to access and exchange medical information using personal health records.

Dr. Eleonora Popova, the first General Practitioner to use the new system remarks: “The new eCard system significantly reduces our administrative work. The electronic prescriptions are issued very quickly, are always legible and faultless, and thus we have more time to care for our patients.”

Electronic prescriptions are generated by the system after the diagnosis and the medication are entered by the attending physician. For maximum security and reliability, the physician has to sign the prescription electronically using a health professional card and a PIN.

At the pharmacy, both the pharmacist’s and patient’s cards are inserted into a card reader. After this simple yet secure authentication procedure, the e-prescription is automatically opened. When the prescribed drug is given to the patient, the pharmacist certifies the dispensation of the medication by simply entering a PIN code.

Diana Dimitrova, owner of the pharmacy that served the first patient with an e-prescription explains: ”With the new eCard, we can speed up our service. Currently, we need up to three hours per day to do our reports to the National Health Insurance Fund. With e-prescriptions, this information is generated automatically when the medication is dispensed.”
All data is transmitted through a special security device – the ICW Box – developed jointly by the eHealth specialist ICW and Cisco, the world's leading provider of routing and network security solutions. The ICW Box encrypts the information that is then transmitted via a Virtual Private Network (VPN). With ICW providing a special Software Development Kit (SDK), software applications that are already in use in GP’s office and at pharmacies can easily be connected to the new eCard system.

“With today’s start of the pilot for the national electronic health card, Bulgaria leaps to the fore amongst nations adopting eHealth solutions,” says Peter Reuschel, CEO of InterComponentWare (ICW), main contractor of the pilot project.

In the next three months, all 1,000 patients who are included in the project will use their eCard at their GPs and in the pharmacies. During this time the system will be evaluated in order to show how the implementation of the electronic card for all Bulgarian citizens will benefit the healthcare system.

For additional information, please contact:
ICW America
Nils Effertz
One Waters Park Drive, Ste 280
San Mateo, CA 94403

Tel: 650-295-2124
Fax: 650-212-2890

E-Mail: Nils.Effertz@icw-global.com


InterComponentWare AG (ICW)
Dirk Schuhmann
Industriestraße 41
69190 Walldorf, Germany

Tel: ++49 (0) 6227-385-133
Fax: ++49 (0) 6227-385-199

E-Mail: Dirk.Schuhmann@icw-global.com


About InterComponentWare
InterComponentWare AG (ICW) is a leading international eHealth specialist with locations in Germany, the United States, Austria, Switzerland and Bulgaria. Its solutions for networking the various players in the healthcare system lastingly improve process-oriented communication and data integrity, and therefore also the quality of healthcare. Among other things, ICW develops and distributes software and hardware components for the healthcare IT infrastructure for electronic health cards, the LifeSensor personal health record as well as networking solutions for hospitals and physician offices. As part of the bIT4health consortium, ICW provided important consulting services for the implementation of the electronic health card in Germany, is involved in the Austrian eCard project and has won the pilot project for the national health card in Bulgaria.