History of Electronic Prescriptions in Sweden: From Time-Sharing Systems via Smartcards to EDI

  • Gunnar O. Klein
Conference paper
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 350)


Managing prescriptions for medication, using ICT support, started in the 1970s with the computerization of the pharmacy branch offices where local systems registered handwritten prescriptions and to print labels. In 1984, the first online prescribing started with physicians connected to their local pharmacy system in a pilot test. Then in 1987, the first pilot test started with an off-line system in which PC-based prescriber support systems transferred data to patient-held smart cards that were taken to the pharmacy. In the 1990s, we had the first use of messaging using EDIFACT syntax for prescriptions. These had a relatively small volume until 2000, when an XML version of a European standard based on object-oriented modeling became popular and made electronic prescribing the normal practice, which meant important quality gains.


Decision support electronic prescriptions Infocard messaging standards 


  1. 1.
    Klein, G.O.: ISO/TR 22790 Health informatics – Functional characteristics of prescriber support systems (2007) Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Klein, G.O.: Infocard in Pharmacy. In: Proceedings of the North American Conference on Patient Cards, New Orleans, pp. 1–3 (March 1992)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Klein, G.O.: The Swedish Prescription Card Trial: A Technical Report. Published by Apoteksbolaget in the co-operation between Sweden and the French Ministry of Health, p. 29 (1992) Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Klein, G.O.: Final report of the project Trustworthy Health Telematics 1 (Trusthealth). Deliverable D1.4, p. 16 (1998) Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Klein, G.O.: Security principles for patient card systems. In: Köhler, C.O., Waegeman (eds.) Proceedings of the Fourth Global Congress on Patient Cards and Computerization of Health Records, pp. 77–87. Medical Records Institute, Newton (1992)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Klein, G.O.: Smart Cards: A tool for carrying medical information by patients and creating digital signatures by professionals. In: Information Security – The Next Decade Conference of the International Federation of Information processing/TC 11 Security, Annex Information Security on the Electronic highways of Sweden, Cape Town, pp. 1–20. Chapman & Hall, Boca Raton (1995)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kajbjer, K., Nordberg, R., Klein, G.O.: Electronic Health Records in Sweden: From Administrative Support to Clinical Decision Support. In: Lundin, P., Impagliazzo, J., Wangler, B. (eds.) HiNC3. IFIP AICT, vol. 350, pp. 65–73. Springer, Heidelberg (2011)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gunnar O. Klein
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, Tumor and Cell BiologyKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden

Personalised recommendations