Patients in Europe are still generally unaware of their rights and the possibility to access health services in other EU Member States, as well as of the existence of National Contact Points (NCPs) to help them exercise their rights under the Cross-border Healthcare Directive. These are the results of the study ”Enhancing information provision to patients”, funded under the Third EU Health Programme and published today.
Using a combination of research methods, including a literature review, an analysis of legal texts, a website analysis, a pseudo-patient investigation, and surveys of NCPs and patients, the aim of the study carried out by Ecorys, KU Leuven and GfK Belgium was to identify how to improve the current level of information on cross-border healthcare available to patients.
The study found that although the information available to patients on NCP websites was adequate, the websites themselves need improvements, especially the sections on patients’ rights (for incoming patients), quality and safety standards (for incoming patients) and reimbursement of cross-border healthcare costs (for outgoing patients). However, compared to the results of the Evaluative study(fieldwork carried out in 2014), the NCPs have made significant progress in this area.
This study has also resulted in the development of a practice-orientated toolbox and training material to help the NCPs improve the quality of information for patients, as well as a set of Guiding Principles and indicators for establishing an NCP service that is more uniform, patient-centred and in line with the legal requirements. This will contribute to high level information provision to patients.
While the study feeds into the upcoming implementation report on the operation of the Cross-border Healthcare Directive due this October, it will enhance the level of information provided and available to patients, empowering NCPs to be fit for purpose.
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Article Source: http://ec.europa.eu/newsroom/sante/newsletter-specific-archive-issue.cfm?archtype=specific&newsletter_service_id=327&newsletter_issue_id=10044&page=1&fullDate=Fri%2020%20Jul%202018&lang=default