IKP – Internetowe Konto Pacjenta
When I was living in the Netherlands, I was in love with online database of the Dutch health care system. What do I mean by that? Imagine a situation in which you are going to any kind of doctor who has a contract signed with local Health Care representatives. Such doctors have access to your complete medical history and medication which you were taking. There is no need to drag your medical file with you. All documentation from doctors and prescriptions are retained online.What is my point? Polish ministry of Health and the National Health Fund (NFZ) released an Online Patient Account facility – IKP (Intenetowe Konto Pacjenta).
It is a free application where you can quickly and safely check your own health related information. Also the status of your children or the person who has authorized you access their medical info. It actually looks like an improved and more featured variation of the previously mentioned system from the Netherlands, since it allows you to interact with the platform via mobile app or a regular browser. You can check all your visits and prescriptions, also Sick Leave certificates and even NFZ contributions which you have paid. Sounds interesting! I am inviting you to watch a short movie about it (you can change the language of the subtitles) published by the e-Health center, (Centrum e-Zdrowia) have a read of the details below.
Features of Online Patient Account (IKP)
You will find information about:
- e-prescriptions issued, implemented, and those that have been partially implemented from January 2019;
- the dose of medicine prescribed by your doctor;
- history of your visits to the clinic / doctor carried out and financed by the National Health Fund – NHF (NFZ) since 2008;
- the help you were given, and how much the NHF paid for the benefits;
- issued referrals and e-referrals for tests or referrals to a sanatorium and the status of their implementation;
- e-leaves (L4) and medical certificates issued in connection with illness and maternity;
- your vaccinations;
- the medical history of your loved one who has authorized you to do so. As well as your child under 18;
- info on who/when you registered for health insurance, including the amount of premiums paid or the date of registration of the last premium;
- medicines (you can check every drug authorized in Poland);
- Your medical devices reimbursed by the National Health Fund.
Through IKP you also have:
- the possibility to change your primary care doctor, nurse or midwife;
- the ability to authorize someone to collect your prescriptions or view your medical records;
- possibility to order e-prescription for permanent medications;
- possibility of submitting an application for an EHIC – European Health Insurance Card;
- the possibility of obtaining an e-referral for relevant research under Prophylaxis 40 plus program.
There are also functionalities on the Online Patient Account to make it easier for you to manage your health during a pandemic:
- your coronavirus test result
- information as to when you are likely to remain in quarantine or home isolation (ultimately it depends on your health)
- the ability to download a document that certifies quarantine or home isolation
- link to the form that allows you to contact Sanepid
- information on the following doses of vaccination against COVID -19
- you can also download EU COVID Certificate (UCC) – confirmation of being vaccinated against COVID19, a negative coronavirus test or being a convalescent.
Who/how can IKP be accessed?
You need an adult who can confirm your identity on the Internet (e.g. through a trusted profile). Anyone with a PESEL number (click here to read more) has an Online Patient Account. Minors, from the age of 16, have access to their IKP, but they are not able to decide, for example, on the choice of a doctor. In order to login to your IKP, you enter the site patient.gov.pl and log in. You don’t need to register an account, but you need an electronic signature to log in. You can choose one of several ways to log in:
- trusted profile – it’s your free electronic signature, thanks to which you can handle official matters online. You can get a trusted profile without leaving your home if you are a client of electronic banking PKO Bank Polski SA , Santander, Bank Pekao, mBank, ING Bank Śląski, Alior Bank, Millennium Bank, BNP Paribas, Getin Bank, T-Mobile Usługi Bankowe and the Envelo platform. I previously wrote about this in one of my previous articles. Click here, if you would like to know more about it.
- If you already have a trusted profile, the system will allow you to log in with a bank or other PZ provider
- temporary trusted profile – you can set up temporary trusted profile by contacting the clerk via the computer
- e-ID – it is an ID card with an electronic layer. You log in using the reader. On the website you have instructions on how to do this. I have e-ID on my “to do” list and of course, I will let you know as soon as the post will be published.
e-Prescription, e-Referral and e-Sick Leave certificate (L4) in Online Patient Account
You might want to ask, what is a regular prescription, referral or L4 in Poland? I previously explained these terms in detail in my post about Health Care system in Poland. Therefore, if you would like to re-visit this post, just click here –it will open in a separate tab.
e-Prescription vs regular Prescription (Recepta)
What will you gain with E-prescription vs a regular prescription? You do not have to ask for a write-off and you will not lose the refund. You can buy each prescribed drug at any pharmacy. There is no risk of receiving the wrong medicine – the e-prescription is always clearly legible. You won’t lose it, since all e-prescriptions are saved on your Online Patient Account and in the end, you can pick-up at any pharmacy in Poland
In addition, if you use IKP, You can check how to take the drug at any time. But also, you will find information about the prescribed dosage on the e-prescription itself. In the end, you will be able to collect another e-prescription without visiting the doctor (in the case of a chronic disease or after consultation, e.g. by phone, with a doctor)
e-Referral vs. regular Referral (Skierowanie)
First of all, you do not have to deliver the referral in person within 14 days – it is enough to register in person or by phone and provide a 4-digit code and PESEL. This is especially important for lonely and sick people. But also, you don’t need to go back to the doctor because of the illegibility of the handwritten document. Losing an e-referral is no longer an option – it is saved on the Patient’s online Account. The service provider can always retrieve the e-referral code it has issued, and you can check the code on your IKP. In addition, you (you or a person authorized by you) can monitor the history of the treatment on the online Patient Account ( IKP ) and check the history of e-referrals at any time
At the end of the day, queues will decrease due to the fact that patients enroll in several facilities on the basis of one referral – after the first registration, the e-referral will be automatically assigned to the facility and it will not be possible to register it in another facility at the same time.
Sick Leave vs e-Sick Leave (L4 – Chorobowe)
You don’t have to worry about sickness or care allowance if your employer pays it (the employer sees your e-leave on their PUE profile). However, claiming for the benefit must still be submitted by persons running the business (Z-3b) and those to whom ZUS pays sickness benefits ( ZAS -53). However, here too, you will find it easier – you can do it by using your profile on PUE (i.e. on Electronic Services Platform, i.e. simply in digital ZUS ).
If your employer does not yet have a PUE profile (the system will prompt the doctor to inform you about it), instead you will get a paper certificate of leave. In such cases, you must deliver it to your employer yourself within 7 days.
Issuing an e-leave takes less time than writing a paper one, because the doctor has access to your data, your employer (i.e. the contribution payer) and your family members – if you need a certificate to look after them. All you need is your PESEL number, and the remaining personal data will be automatically updated by the system. The doctor will select your address and the data of the contribution payer from the list displayed. An e-Sick Leave can also be issued via mobile devices, e.g. during a home visit.
Summary of Online Patient Account in Poland
Online Patient Account in Poland is free – which actually means – covered by your taxes. It gives you a lot of functionality and insights to the information which never before were allowed by a regular Polish citizen. It also improves a lot on the outdated IT system within the Polish Health Care which – let’s be honest – really needs it. Of course, every system like this raises concerns about safety of data and the whole digitalization process. As usual and in every single case – the ministry claims that all data is safe and the whole process is GDPR policy compliant. Regardless of the fact, if we use IPK or not, our medical history is stored on servers from e-Health center.
So, is IPK worth using it? In my opinion yes! – especially if you would like immediate access to your medical history or your families from anywhere or anytime. If you would like to know more about this, I would strongly recommend you visit FAQ from IPK and use live translate option. As you should expect IPK in Polish only, for now anyway. However, as usual Google Live Translate does a great job with fixing this issue.
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Special thanks to Eamon Gosney, who has helped with proofreading of this article.