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Data interoperability is strength of the Portuguese healthcare system

Data interoperability is strength of the Portuguese healthcare system

The Director of MFB gets to know the health system visiting the Contact Center of the National Health Service of Portugal.

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In order to know how one of the most modern healthcare systems in the world work´s and bring the best experiences to Medical Fair Brazil, the fair's director, Malu Sevieri, visited SNS 24 on November 5th, Contact Center of the SNS (National Health Service) of Portugal, institution linked to the Ministry of Health of the country. The visit was part of an agenda that takes advantage of the executive's visit to Web Summit Lisboa 2019.

The health system in Portugal is characterized by  coexisting systems: the SNS, special health insurance schemes for certain occupations (health subsystems) and private health insurance. The SNS offers universal coverage, with the Ministry of Health being responsible for the development of national health policy. The ERS (Health Regulatory Authority) is the independent public institution responsible for regulating the activity of all health providers, whether public, private or social.“It caught our attention the level of digitization of the system,” says Malu. “It is available anywhere in Portugal, from the vaccination card to the doctor's appointments, test results and medications that the patient takes or has taken,” she explains, confirming the importance of data interoperability for greater effectiveness and sustainability of a system of health. The figure of the family doctor - who knows and follows the patient for life - is common in Europe, and in Portugal it´s not different. “We see this movement in Brazil and our experience here has shown us that this is really one of the ways to better serve the citizen,” says the head of MFB. Within the SNS24, the Brazilian delegation got to know the Portuguese telemedicine service, which operates 24 hours by telephone, screening and referral of cases. In telephone care, after listening to the description of symptoms, the team of experienced nurses pre-analyzes the health status of the person who made the contact. After the evaluation - based on the patient's entire available history - the patient is referred as needed: has a prescribed conduct, with or without medication, or is referred to the family doctor in non-urgent cases; in more severe cases, to the specialist nearest to your place of residence. “This process prevents most Portuguese from going to a hospital without real need, which results in less crowding, better use of resources and less risk of patient exposure to the hospital environment, which prevents the spread of other diseases and infections.” , says Malu.Drugs prescription also works digitally in Portugal. Pharmacies are integrated into the system, and prescriptions are all digital and goes directly to the establishments. 
The SNS website also offers various online services, such as access to electronic records, appointments and exams, requests for medication for chronic diseases, consultation of vaccines, symptom assessment service, among others. 
“We have here a great example of how this aspect of telemedicine can help both the citizen and the public health system,” concludes Malu. MFB will have a dedicated telemedicine summit on May 7th organized together with APM (Paulista medical´s association) with more than 33.000 members and Global Summit, na unique telemedicine and Digital event orientated to the healthy industry.