Germany expects all patients will have an electronic health insurance card by 2013

German health payers are currently in the process of issuing electronic health insurance cards to their customers, which is expected to increase providers’ ability to immediately access detailed patient information.

More than 50 million German patients are expected to receive an electronic health insurance card by the end of 2012 and the process is scheduled to finish by 2013.

Digital signatures contained within the electronic health insurance will enable German providers to retrieve patien information archived across multiple healthcare sites. The project is part of a larger eHealth Initiative to improve health IT tools and infrastructures launched by the German Federal Ministry of Health, according to a Nov. 15 statement.