This was the first participation of the Estonian Health Insurance Fund in the Quality Innovation Awards competition, which is a joint project between Estonia, Finland and Sweden.
Hannes Danilov, chairperson of the Health Insurance Fund and Erki Laidmäe, head of the ePrescription project received the prize from the hands of the President of the Republic Finland, Ms Tarja Halonen, at a ceremony held in Helsinki on 10 November 2011. The Estonian Minister for Economic Affairs and Communications, Juhan Parts, also attended.
In the Quality Innovation Awards contest, the proposed projects first compete at national level. The Estonian Association for Quality thus evaluated the Estonian projects, based on the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) methodology as well as a peer review process. Two national finalists were then selected in the categories 'public organisations' and 'corporations' respectively, and submitted to the quality assessment of the Finnish Excellence Award Jury who selected the winners.
According to Ms Tiia Tammaru, the chairperson of the Estonian Association for Quality, the Estonian ePrescription system was chosen because "it is a world-class technological innovation that significantly enhanced the drug prescription and purchase system, bringing ease of use to all parties."
"We are pleased to say that we have a digital prescription system that is a model for other countries," Hannes Danilov said. "On behalf of our employees, the Health Insurance Fund would like to thank all partners with whom we share this success. The ePrescription project will not be the last one, and we will certainly provide more new, innovative projects," he added.
The Quality Innovation Awards competition is open to the participation of Estonian, Finnish and Swedish organisations. It is the fifth time that the event is organised in Finland, and Estonian organisations participated in the contest for the second time in a row. There were a total of 80 public and private sector contestants, eight of which from Estonia.