Case Kela

Smooth information flow supports healthcare

As part of the national information system overhaul in the social welfare and healthcare sector, Kela, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, wanted to improve messaging and process solutions that provide interfaces for healthcare actors and pharmacies in handling documents and electronic prescriptions. Digia implemented a messaging and process solution that not only has enough capacity to transfer a substantial volume of messages, but also meets Kela's requirements for short response times. The messaging solution supports procedures between healthcare actors.


  • Processes large volumes of messages.
  • Shortens response times.
  • Integrates easily with other actors' systems.
  • Ensures data integrity.

Services and solutions:

Smooth information flow supports healthcare

A group of companies worked together to implement an information system solution for Kela's KanTo project. Digia was responsible for designing the process and messaging solution.

The KanTo project aimed to deliver an information system covering Finland’s social welfare and healthcare. This system was to include electronic prescriptions (ePrescription) and an electronic patient record archive (eArchive). KanTo is part of a larger project to build the Finnish National Archive of Health Information (KanTa) and the related services. KanTa promotes treatment continuity and patient safety, while increasing the efficiency of healthcare services.

In spring 2007, tenders were invited for the implementation of the KanTo project’s information systems. A group of companies led by Fujitsu Services Oy won the tender. The group included Fujitsu Services, Digia and NEAGEN. These firms implemented the information system solutions in cooperation with Kela. Digia was in charge of planning and implementing the process and messaging solution.

The messaging solution implemented by Digia organises procedures between different healthcare actors.

Huge message volumes handled

The messaging and process solutions provide interfaces for healthcare actors and pharmacies. These interfaces are used for handling documents within eArchive and electronic prescription processes. IBM WebSphere technologies were deployed when providing the solution. Production use began in 2010, following an implementation project begun in 2008.

When in full use, the system will process huge message volumes. In the case of electronic prescriptions, it will handle as many as 250 million requests a year. Digia’s solution accounts for the short response times needed.

Standard-compliant technology

The messaging solution implemented by Digia organises procedures between different healthcare actors. A separate process engine defines progress, enabling flexible changes in the process. As part of their execution chain, running processes call backroom services. Data integrity is ensured using compensating service calls described within the process.

For this project, a large number of healthcare systems had to be integrated data securely. This is why standards such as HL7 V3 (SOAP 1.1, WS-Addressing, WS-Security X.509 token profile) and SSL/TLS were applied. Processes were described as standard-compliant BPEL processes.

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