What is ELGA?
ELGA is an information system providing references to health data of ELGA participants. This means that health data are not stored centrally, but just the information that the respective health data are available and can be accessed by authorised health service providers (general practitioners, hospitals, laboratories etc.).
This makes information available to doctors for optimum treatment and double or even multiple examinations can be avoided.
Part of ELGA will be e-medication. Prescribed and obtained medicine is recorded in order to detect and prevent contraindications (interactions between several drugs taken) as well as double prescriptions.
ELGA thus mainly aims at the patients’ safety and the improvement in treatment quality. Moreover, ELGA makes it possible for patients to access their own data.
ELGA is a joint project of the Federal government, the provinces and Austrian social insurance.
Who participates in ELGA?
All natural persons known to Austrian social insurance who have not rejected ELGA participation take part in ELGA, irrespective of citizenship and residence.
When does ELGA start?
The ELGA Act has been in effect since 1 January 2013. The use of ELGA and hence the availability of the data are introduced gradually. ELGA will start in public hospitals and care homes step-by-step from December 2015. Hospital discharge letters, radiology and laboratory results of the participating hospitals and care homes will then be available from ELGA.
Following this, step by step pharmacies and doctors will be obliged to store data. Then, private hospitals have to make their discharge letters, radiology and laboratory results available. Finally, in 2022 dentists will also be included in ELGA.
The Minister can order by regulation that further types of results are to be fed into ELGA.
Who can access the ELGA data?
ELGA data can generally be accessed by health service providers and ELGA participants themselves. Access to ELGA data is subject to the strictest access restrictions. Abuse results both in administrative fines and criminal charges.
Via ELGA data can only be accessed if an ELGA participant is in treatment by a health service provider and the ELGA participant does not object.
This means that a health service provider only has access to ELGA data if there is no objection from the patient and the e-card of the patient has been used as a “key”.
ELGA participants can access their own data at any time using a citizen card function by means of mobile phone signature or e-card at the ELGA access portal www.gesundheit.gv.at and, when doing so, monitor who has accessed what data, control data access, and erase document references so that these will not be available in ELGA any longer.
The ELGA ombudsman offices advise and support ELGA participants in exercising and enforcing their rights in connection with ELGA, as well as in data protection matters. Information will be provided separately on their availability and when they will start their work.
As soon as there is a regulation regarding the establishment of ELGA ombudsman offices, a list of these will be available both at the www.elga.gv.at website at the ELGA access portal and the ELGA service line.
ELGA ombudsman office in Vienna: Schönbrunner Straße 108,
telephone: +43 1 544 06 80 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 4 pm)
Is participation in ELGA obligatory?
No. It is possible to reject participation in ELGA in full or in part. The ELGA Act calls this an “opt-out”. An opt-out has been possible from 1 January 2014 both online and in writing; online via log-in with citizen card signature (handy signature or e-card) at the ELGA access portal www.gesundheit.gv.at and in writing using a rejection form available for download on the internet or from the ELGA service line.
An opt-out is possible for all of ELGA or just certain parts of the system.
An opt-out can be revoked or changed at any time.
Is there a charge for ELGA?
Participation in ELGA, as well as opting out, is free of charge.
- More information on ELGA: www.elga.gv.at
- ELGA access portal: www.gesundheit.gv.at
- ELGA-Service line for citizens: telephone: 050 124 4411 (Monday to Friday, 7am to 7 pm), local rates throughout Austria, email: email@example.com
- ELGA ombudsman office in Vienna: Schönbrunner Straße 108,
telephone: +43 1 544 06 80 (Monday to Friday, 8 am to 4 pm)