BERLIN (Reuters) – Deployment of a fully-fledged digital prescribing system in Germany will miss the legally binding deadline of January 1, 2022 due to delayed testing and lack of technological infrastructure, the ministry said. health.
Germany’s outdated healthcare system, where many doctors still communicate primarily by fax and paper, has come under criticism, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.
The ministry said it would only be able to introduce the new system gradually, as the necessary technological systems are not sufficiently available.
Since the system is still being tested, it is also not certain that an error-free deployment is possible, the ministry said in a letter to the body responsible for digitizing the system.
“As soon as the agreed quality criteria are met, the transition to electronic prescriptions should follow the lines of a roll-out process yet to be determined,” the letter said, seen by Reuters on Tuesday.
Shares of online pharmacy companies Zur Rose and Shop Apotheke fell on news of the delay.
A McKinsey study in November 2021 found that while the pandemic had accelerated the march towards a digital health system, 95% of communications between doctors’ offices and hospitals continued to be in paper form.
(Reporting by Miranda Murray; Editing by Angus MacSwan)