In future, citizen data will be displayed on E-Journal in a wider screen format with better sorting options and clearer naming. In addition, there will be three broad levels - 'summary', 'overview' and 'details' - and navigation will be supported by a new search system.
The current design of E-Journal is five years old. Bent Hansen, President of Danish Regions, explained: "Just as 10 years for a dog is equivalent to approximately 70 years for a human, so five years for the web is also quite a long time. When one thinks of development, it is only to be expected that this popular access to one's own data should stand out as visionary."
E-Journal became operational nationwide in April 2010, and now contains information on 80 % of the Danish population. Danish Regions is behind E-Journal and MedCom is the executing organisation.
Every night, updates in the electronic patient records in every region are transferred to E-Journal. These data are collected so that doctors from all hospitals and regions can read all the information about the patient from recent years, regardless of where in the country the patient has been hospitalised. Hospital doctors have access via their own record system and general practitioners have access via sundhed.dk, Denmark's official eHealth portal. Patients also have access to their own data via sundhed.dk, by using their ID card (NemID) or a digital signature. Hospital departments are eager to save the time and postage costs incurred in sending printed copies to patients who have asked to see their records.
Studies show that users of E-Journal often consult it to check the dates and sequence of events in their course of treatment, to get all the details about their treatment, or to substantiate claims in relation to employees' compensation. Some also said that they use the service to ensure that they are summoned for their scheduled checks, or to ensure that something they have said has been correctly understood. Many users emphasise that it is reassuring to read the material when desired. Citizens also have the option in 'My Login' to see which health professionals have placed information in the E-Journal.
Bent Hansen said: "Time and again it is confirmed that people want access to their own data. And of course they also want that information to be exchanged between different healthcare professionals involved in their progress. With the multiple access for E-Journal, we have ensured that doctors and citizens can get the same overview of hospital treatment, so that the dialogue between them is the best possible."
Following TV publicity about hospital records in January 2011, public awareness of the E-Journal increased to 31 %. Awareness has also been boosted by many hospital departments informing their patients about the service, although many people still do not know that it exists and some call for it. Danish Regions and sundhed.dk are cooperating in a campaign to increase awareness about E-Journal. Currently 10-15 000 page views per week are made in E-Journal, and this is expected to increase for the new-look E-Journal during the campaign.