Health services users require a broad overview of their rights as patients. In an effort to meet this need, and with the assistance of this target group, Danish eHealth portal 'Sundhed.dk' has compiled key information under a theme called 'Patient Rights'.
In order to be able to decipher the law and to seek the aid of a patient advisor in doing so, information from several different areas is needed so as to get an overview of rights and options as a patient in the healthcare system. The Danish eHealth portal has collected information from several entities in the form of an overview of essential patients' rights with links to detailed and relevant data. This new section has been well received by the portal users.
According to Lars Engberg, president of Danish Patients, an umbrella organisation of 15 patient associations in Denmark representing 830 000 members, it is encouraging that the government now improves a patient's opportunity to get a general idea of their rights. Mr Engberg said that patients generally demand electronic platforms where they can get easy access to pertinent information and that it is important to ensure that such patients are made aware.
Mette Lassen, patient advisor for Region Zealand, said that the region has 12 000 related enquiries per year at its patient office, with the majority concerning rights. Ms Lassen added that patient rights is a broad area in which various rights are described in a range of sources. "We feel that patients are becoming more aware of their rights and use the Internet to ask knowledgeable questions."
'Patient Rights' allows for easy access, enabling a user to determine if a treatment is under enhanced supervision, to find waiting times, to retrieve quality information and figures on patient satisfaction from health service providers. It also enables patients to read their own health records. The overview of rights is thus enhanced by the tools and the opportunity afforded to patients in reading their own data in a secure environment.
'Patient Rights' is intended for patients before, during and after treatment. It has been developed in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior and Health, the Danish National Board of Health and the Capital Region, and following consultations with portal users, regional patient advisors and Danish Patients.