Juha Laakkonen to take the Position of Country Manager for Nortal Finland, Member of Group Management

May 05, 2014

Nortal has appointed Juha Laakkonen as the Country Manager for Nortal Finland since September 1, 2014. As of today, May 5th, 2014 Juha Laakkonen, the former CEO of Lappset Group Ltd joins Nortal as the Head of Industry & Logistics Business Area.

"While Europe and Finland are still in the economic downturn and most of the manufacturing happens outside of Europe, the companies like Nortal help our industries and public sector to stay competitive by implementing more efficient daily routines and advanced, innovative technological solutions. I am excited about the new challenge," says Juha Laakkonen.

Nortal Finland current CEO Jorma Kallio will move to work at Nortal key customer projects as well as the business development activities until further notice, after which he will retire.

"I am happy and proud Juha is aboard. He is goal oriented leader with a passion to take Nortal to new markets and to acquire new customers. I leave the operational responsibilities with him in confidence," said Mr. Kallio.

Juha Laakkonen, 44, worked as the CEO of Lappset Group Ltd since 2008. His educational background comprises double degrees; IT engineering and Bachelor of Business Administration. Laakkonen is a former Finnish national champion of decathlon and an Honorary Consul for Iceland in Lapland.

Additional Information:

Juha Laakkonen
Country Manager (starting from September 1, 2014)
Nortal Oy
+358 407 625 480

Jorma Kallio
Country Manager (until August 31, 2014)
Nortal Oy
+358 400 542 999

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Nortal to Create the Central Electronic Health Information System for Lithuania

April 17, 2014

Nortal is designing a Central Electronic Health Information System for the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Lithuania and for the State Institution Registrų centras (Registers Centre). This will be a one-stop point for residents of Lithuania and health care specialists to access health services electronically. The Central Electronic Health Information System (CEHIS) will consist of health care specialist and patient websites, which will permit rapid sharing of information. This will reduce the patients’ waiting times and the number of documents to be filled out and it will make it possible for both patients and doctors to focus all their attention on effective treatment.

When the electronic services are implemented in the health care establishments, this will improve service to clients and their access to service. This will give reality to the principle “one citizen – one electronic medical case history”.

“Residents of Lithuania will be able to use CEHIS to electronically access, without barriers imposed by time, geography or institution, their medical case history information. People will be able to log on to the system and see messages about their health tests, prescriptions, inoculation records and referral records. They will also be able to request the certificates they require, to register with general practitioners or to communicate remotely”, said Vice-Minister for Health of the Republic of Lithuania, Erikas Mačiūnas, listing the benefits of CEHIS. “An electronic health report will replace the current paper cards, and when essential information is required about a patient, the doctor will be able to access it in the blink of an eye.”

The number of documents to be filled out by hand and patients’ waiting times will be reduced

Once the Central Electronic Health Information System is introduced, health care professionals will be able to repeatedly use patients’ medical information and they will be able to provide health care services faster and better, including writing prescriptions electronically. With information exchange systems improved, doctors will be able to devote more time to patient care. Since patients will be able to do many things on the CEHIS website, they will be able to avoid spending long periods waiting to see doctors.

Vice-Minister E. Mačiūnas continued: “At present, statistical data shows that there are 6 General Practitioners per 10,000 of the population; therefore, a patient’s time with the doctor needs to be spent as effectively as possible, not filling out forms, but in examination and consultation. Using the Central Electronic Health Information System, participants in the health care sector will be able to cooperate, and important information exchanges will be developed: CEHIS, the electronic prescription service and a database of medical images – which will reduce duplication of tests for patients who have been attending consultations in various health care service institutions. This will ensure a fast search of information needed about the patient and access to the latest databases and catalogues of recommendations concerning diagnosis and treatment”. 

The system is being developed on the basis of best practice

Nortal started its activity in the health care sector by installing and maintaining national electronic medical record systems, patient information systems and self-service health care websites for clients in Finland and Estonia.

“We understand the value of such an information system for all residents of this country; therefore, we use our extensive experience and accept the responsibility of creating a new, unified access point to the electronic medical records of citizens of this country. We have put to work on this project the best Nortal employees in Lithuania and Estonia, who are experienced in the health care sector”, stated Nortal Manager Arnoldas Jankūnas. He also remarked that in the process of designing systems that are going to be used by all Lithuanian citizens, priority must be given to designing systems that are convenient to use, that provide clear and simple information delivery and are attractive.

A. Jankūnas added: “In the course of designing a system, we do everything we can to make it convenient to use both for young people, who almost always access data electronically using a mobile telephone (which is why the CEHIS website is adapted for screens of varying sizes), as well as for older people (which is why large amounts of information are presented as clearly as possible, using a modern and convenient to use method of presenting separate blocks of information of varying sizes)”.

It is planned to have the Central Electronic Health Information System operational by March 2015.

Additional information:

Skaistė Krikščiūnaitė, 
Nortal Communications Specialist
Mobile telephone: +370 6169 0876
E-mail: skaiste.kriksciunaite@nortal.com

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The Go Live of a Modern and Functional Lithuanian Railways Website

April 14, 2014

A new and modern website has been created for Lithuanian Railways. It is adapted for screens of varying sizes, showing large quantities of information in an easy and understandable manner, while the extended functions enable visitors to the website to quickly and conveniently perform their required actions.

The Lithuanian Railways website was designed and set up by Nortal.

The website has been improved with added functions.

Arnoldas Jankūnas, the Manager of Nortal, says that when talking about electronic service, priority must be given to the ease of using the website, its design, its outstanding features and its creation of opportunities for interaction. These days it is no longer exceptional to design a website that adapts to the size of the equipment being used by the client; this has become an essential feature. 

“When designing the Lithuanian Railway website we made sure that the website was functional and we also designed it so that it changes depending on the day and the time of the year”, said A. Jankūnas. “A well-designed website creates positive emotions in visitors, which is equally as important as its functionality. I am pleased that Lithuanian Railways invites its clients to use a Lithuanian website that is comparable to one of the websites of the major European carriers.”

In addition to other new features, Lithuanian Railways clients will be able to use the interactive station map, an events calendar, links to social networks and the electronic form-filling capacity. Plans for the near future are to integrate ticket purchase. All the information on the website is designed to be usable by people with disabilities. 

Clearer presentation of information for private clients and business clients

The basic activity of Lithuanian Railways is the transportation of passengers and freight. Therefore, information is presented on the website according to the characteristics of the visitors and it is divided into sections intended for passengers and for business.

“In order to ensure effective service for clients of Lithuanian Railways and to increase client satisfaction, we have tried to present large amounts of information as functionally and as simply as possible. For example, a client seeking passenger train timetable information is not encumbered with information about freight transport.” 

For the Lithuanian Railways website a solution was adopted that is modern and convenient to use, incorporating the use of separate blocks of information of varying sizes to present all the necessary information.

You can visit the new Lithuanian Railways website at: www.litrail.lt

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Medical Professionals from Oman and Estonia Discuss Innovation in Medicine and Next Generation E-Health

April 10, 2014

Muscat, Oman – April 10, 2014 –  To support the annual ICT exhibition COMEX 2014, Nortal held an e-health seminar “INNOVATION IN MEDICINE. NEXT GENERATION E-HEALTH” at Crowne Plaza Hotel, Muscat. The speakers included Mr. Margus Tsahkna, Chairman of Omani-Estonian Parliamentary Group; Mr. Mart Einasto, Member of the Executive Board of Tartu University Hospital; Mrs. Kati Korm, Head of IT Development Departement at Tartu University Hospital, and Mr. Taavi Einaste, Head of eHealth Business Unit at Nortal. 

In his opening words, Mr. Margus Tsahkna, Chairman of Omani-Estonian Parliamentary Group reflected on the similarities of Oman and Estonia, and also on the need to be smart and efficient. “Due to its size, historical and geographical reasons, Estonia was forced to be smart. We believe Estonian e-solutions can be of use here in Oman, and let me assure you, the Estonian government is behind the Estonian companies such as Nortal that export their know-how and expertise to Oman,” said Mr. Tsahkna. 

Mr. Mart Einasto, Member of the Executive Board of Tartu University Hospital spoke about the trends, developments and challenges in health sector. Mr. Einasto emphasised that the hospitals must develop different high tech areas to help drive and drigger the change in global health care. “The worldwide trend of aging population and rising costs should drive us to be more innovative and effective. Also, while the prevention in healthcare and personalised medicine offer new business oportunities today, we need to think one step ahaed. We are convinced that National Medical Record is one of the solutions to drigger innovation,” stated Mr. Einasto.  

Mrs Kati Korm, Head of IT Development Departement at Tartu University Hospital gave a presentation on Estonian e-Health experience from hospital IT perspective. Mrs Korm stressed that the success of a medical IT-solution depends mainly on the fact whether the system is beneficial to all counterparts - the government, doctors and patients. “The Estonian National Medical Record is a success-story because the features of the system benefit all parties – it offers more information for clinical decision making, avoids duplicate tests and images, and it exceeds the public expectation on using more modern technology including apps for smartphones and tablets,” concluded Mrs. Korm. 

Mr. Taavi Einaste, Head of eHealth Business Unit at Nortal spoke of how to enable smooth cooperation between hospital information systems and National Health Registry. “We were happy to learn that although hospital information systems cannot be directly transfered from one hospital to another, the similarities between for example Tartu University Hospital and Sultan Qaboos University Hospital are bigger than the similarities between Estonian and Finnish hospital systems. Operating in different countries and validating our experience from Estonian success story into international projects enables Nortal to take the good experiences but also to capitalise on the weaknesses from Estonian medical systems, to build even better solutions for our intenational customers. So we have a lot to offer for Omani healthcare sector,” stated Mr. Einaste. 

The audience of approximately 30 people included representatives from Ministry of Health, the Royal Hospital, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, and Armed Forces Hospital. The audience was additionally interested in data security and privacy issues, as well as standardisation of medical data. 

Next Nortal eHealth seminar on National Medical Record is to take place in October, 2014, in Muscat, Oman.

Background information:  

Estonia is the first country which has implemented a nationwide electronic health record system that also gives full access to citizens. 

Tartu University Hospital is the largest provider of medical care in Estonia. In several fields (such as kidney, bone marrow and liver transplantation and congenital heart disease surgery) it is the only medical institution in Estonia with specialists at such a high level. It also plays a substantial role in both the undergraduate and post-graduate lives of students, as well as in the development of the country's medical science. Tartu University Hospital is the biggest hospital to use Nortal Healthcare Information System. 

Nortal is an international high-end software development solutions provider in public and private sector. Nortal’s history in medical IT dates back to early 1990s. Nortal eHealth provides innovative and productive solutions to hospitals, laboratories and healthcare authorities. Supported by its international presence and targeted acquisitions, Nortal offers a comprehensive portfolio of medical IT products and solutions to its partners on various markets.

For additional questions or comments contact: 

Fahad Amur Al-Hajri
Business Development Manager
Nortal LLC
+968 9933 6766

Taavi Einaste
Head of eHealth Business Unit
Nortal AS
+372 6515 7471


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Nortal to Attend COMEX 2014

April 07, 2014

Muscat, Oman – April 7, 2014 – Nortal, an Estonian IT-company with an active branch office in Muscat providing leading e-government solutions, attends the ICT exhibition COMEX 2014 to introduce its ICT solutions and tools that help governments worldwide modernise their e-services and make them available to the public.

In Oman, Nortal is currently contracted to develop the One Stop Shop project for a consolidated e-services environment for Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Government Cloud project for easy migration of existing solutions to cloud based e-services for ITA, and Oman Tax Administration project for a modernised and more effective e-taxation system.

Mr. Peeter Smitt, Nortal Managing Director in GCC Region and Head of International Unit said that Nortal is very happy that Omanis have placed their trust with Nortal in order to implement strategic IT projects in the Sultanate. “We have a good mixture of expatriates and locals working in our delivery teams and this enables us to have sustainable delivery model,” said Smitt.

At COMEX 2014, Nortal will be presenting its innovative solutions for the public sector as well as solutions especially tailored for businesses, including products and services from telecommunications sector as well as e-health solutions.

Nortal will be present at the Estonia stand along with a state and business delegation from Estonia. Besides Nortal, the Estonian delegation includes representatives from Estonian Certification Centre, e-signing solution provider Signwise and Head of Estonia-Omani Parliament Group Mr. Margus Tsahkna.

For additional questions or comments contact: 

Peeter Smitt
Managing Director, Head of International Unit
Nortal LLC
+968 9336 6253

Fahad Amur Al-Hajri
Business Development Manager
Nortal LLC
+968 9933 6766


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Nortal and Fast to sign an agreement with the Finnish Tax Administration

March 24, 2014

The total cost of the Tax Administration data system reform is around 226 million euros. Nortal will recruit new talents for the 15-year project.

Nortal-Fast group and the Tax Administration signed the contract regarding taxation data system reform on Thursday, 20 March. The value of the project with licensing is about 62 million euros. The total cost estimate for 15 years is 226 million euros.

The Tax Administration is currently using 60-70 different systems. Nortal-Fast will replace them with the GenTax system by Fast, which is the world's most widely used tax software product.

"This agreement shows that Nortal is a reliable partner for large, critical system projects," says Business Area Manager Timo A. Rantanen from Nortal Oy.

Nortal has previously been a partner of the Tax Administration. The company has as many as 25 years of experience in working with the Finnish tax authorities.

There will be recruitment efforts and savings

Project employees are working in the Tax Administration premises in Helsinki. Nortal is recruiting more staff for the project.

GenTax will save the tax administration an estimated 15 million euro annually in maintenance costs and license fees from 2019 onwards. The cost savings will be realised even earlier along with the gradual introduction of the system. The customers of the Tax Administration will see the changes in due course through an improved quality of service.

The acquisition of the Tax Administration data system renewal was delayed by a complaint filed in April of last year, which was rejected by the Market Court of Finland on 17 March.

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Nortal attends St. Petersburg Logistics Days

March 19, 2014

Saint Petersburg Logistics Days is dedicated to the business opportunities and challenges in the logistics sector and brings together companies as well as public sector institutions  from Finland, Estonia, Germany and Russia. The Logistics Days take place 20 - 21 March, 2014 at Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge in Saint Petersburg. Saint Petersburg Logistics Days is organised by German-Finnish Chamber of Commerce.

Nortal as a long-term and experienced solutions provider of the logistics sector is one of the companies attending the Logistics Days. Finland’s largest harbour-operators in Kotka, Hamina and Helsinki manage the industrial production, materials, logistics and transportation through Nortal systems that help operators build cost-effective business models and run operations more efficiently. Nortal just recently finished the first successful project in Russia and opened a new office in Moscow and is therefor looking for opportunities to expand its activity and competence to the Russian market.
Also, Oleg Shvaikovsky, Nortal Board Member gives a speech on the trends of information flows in future logistics operations and the challenges in logistics information systems– from chain of operations to integrated flow. Mr. Shaikovsky’s presentation is part of the Logistics Days official program. 

Mr. Christian Pegel, Minister for Energy, Infrastructure and State Development, Federal State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Mr. Viktor Olersky, Deputy Minister of Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation are also attending the event.

Further information: http://www.saintpetersburg-logistics.com/

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Nortal at Labquality Days

February 10, 2014

Labquality Days is a training and trade fair for the clinical laboratory field organised by Labquality Oy, which draws about 1,000 participants annually to the Helsinki Messukeskus trade fair centre. Labquality Days provide participants with world class lectures in Laboratory Medicine and Quality in Diagnostics as well as Patient Safety. This year, the 41th congress was held in Helsinki on February 6-7. The theme of the congress was Quality in Diagnostics.

Nortal eHealth started its cooperation with Labquality in April 2011. Labquality provides medical laboratories around the world External Quality Assessment (EQA) programmes that include measuring accuracy for analyses, internal processes and staff trainings. The IT development project, which was initially planned as relatively modest in scope, has now grown into a long-term and high-volume project codenamed "LabScala" with a development plan to last at least until the year 2016. 

That was also the main reason for Nortal eHealth team to attend the Labquality Days – to support LabQuality in launching and promoting their new direct integration project with MyLab's Laboratory Information System (LIS), learn about newest trends about external laboratory quality assurance and introduce who we are and what we are doing to the Finnish, and international laboratory medicine world.

Nortal-developed medical information integration between LIS and LabScala gives the possibility for laboratories to integrate external quality checks into their regular work processes. This gives them a possibility to decrease the turnover times of getting analysis of their results -  therefore laboratories know earlier about their devices needing calibration or maintenance. For us, patients, it means that it's more likely that our test results are correct :). Live of the solution is planned for October 2014 and after that also other LIS can integrate with the system. During LabQuality Days, a proof of concept demo was held, where attendees could make a measurement in MyLab's booth and immediately see their results in LabScala – around half of the visitors used the possibility. Labquality and Mylab both were extremely satisfied with the work, demo, and the comments received from participants about this project.

LabScala is currently supporting laboratories in their results reporting and not so much on what happens before and after the measurements. The congress focused more on the preanalytical than postanalytical phase of the analysis, which is not easily to be controlled (studies show that >50% of lab errors come from preanalytical phase mistakes). This includes how the samples materials should be gathered, prepared, treated after taking measurements and what kind of actions should be avoided. 

The congress topics also included: 
  • European QC Update – Where should we aim
  • Preanalytical quality – Incidents before test
  • Analytical quality – How to assess the clinical effectiveness of laboratory
  • Postanalytical quality – How to interpret test results
  • Quality systems in the laboratory - Accreditation based on ISO 17043
  • EQA update – Role for better patient safety

Further information: http://www.labquality.fi/labquality-paivat/in-english/

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Nortal developed GoSign for Lithuanian Centre of Register

January 30, 2014

On January 22, Lithuanian Centre of Register introduced a new e-documents signing and sharing portal GoSign that was developed and implemented by Nortal.

GoSign portal enables to store, share and digitally sign documents. GoSign users can sign documents, verify a signed document, send invitation to sign a document, follow the document signing process and store signed documents without registration or additional fees. No more printing, mailing, faxing or couriers. Signing anything digitally is much more convenient than signing a hard copy. It saves time and costs. Furthermore, all legally active citizens already have infrastructure to use digital signature.

It is believed that GoSign will provide users with a wider access to the personal signature of the related formalities without leaving our home or office. In this way, some of the private life and business processes will be able to move from paper to electronic space. It is usual that contract signing process usually takes from week to several months – for today it is a long period of time.

Above all, digital signatures are legally binding in Lithuania and many countries around Europe. GoSign.lt keeps documents private and secure.

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Nortal promotes Finnish-Estonian partnership in Service Bus Project

January 16, 2014

On January 15, 2014 Nortal, Estonian Embassy in Finland and Enterprise Estonia organized a joint invitational seminar to discuss the experiences of the Estonian X-Road Service Bus and the launch of new online services within the scope of the Finnish Service Bus Project. Also the Finnish-Estonian partnership for developing best practices in eGovernment was discussed. More than 60 high-ranking executives representing authorities and private service firms participated in the seminar that was held in Helsinki.

In November 2013 Finnish and Estonian governments entered into an agreement pursuant to which Estonia grants Finland the right to utilize Estonian X-Road service bus and access to its source code free of charge. Thus Finland can take the immediate advantage of readily available and proven components of the Estonian X-Road. According to Mr. Pauli Kartano, project lead of the Finnish Service Bus Project at the Ministry of Finance and a keynote speaker of the seminar, X-Road will become one of the key pillars of the Finnish digital infrastructure for eServices. The aim is to facilitate data flow between different organizations and services, as well as contribute to the emergence of new kinds of online services. “X-Road is an enabler of the new services because it provides shared data available in a safe and controlled environment, although, simply speaking, it is a data transmission layer only,” Kartano explained.

The seminar was also honored by the presence of Henna Virkkunen, Finland’s Minister of Public Administration and Local Government, and Juhan Parts, Estonia’s Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications, who also gave their speeches. According to minister Virkkunen, ICT-systems currently used by the Finnish public sector are siloed and non-compliant thus preventing productivity growth as well as blocking the emergence of new online services based on the use of authorities’ shared databases. The vast majority of citizens would be comfortable to deal with the authorities online over the internet whenever it suits them best. On the other hand, online services enable authorities to streamline their internal processes and lighten the administrative burden for citizens. As an example Minister Virkkunen raised the eServices provided by the Finnish Tax Administration, which successfully have combined both improved customer service and increased productivity.

There are high expectations for Finnish-Estonian cooperation but thanks to the close relations there are good reasons for success. “This is a unique opportunity both for Estonia and Finland to learn from each other´s different practices. The challenges in the ICT-area have rarely only one right solution. By cooperating we can utilize the special expertise available in both countries and achieve better results,” appraised minister Virkkunen in her post-seminar release. Minister Parts from his side sees the opportunity to deepen the partnership even further, towards the establishment of an international “Innovation Institute” focusing on eGovernment issues. “eServices in the future will become more and more cross-border. It doesn’t make sense to create the infrastructure elements by each country separately, instead it would be smart to cooperate and join forces in that activity“, envisioned minister Parts in his release.

X-Road has been in use more than ten years as part of the Estonia’s common ICT-infrastructure enabling the shared use of authorities’ databases. For software and ICT-consulting firms operating in Estonian market, such as market leader Nortal, it is a normal practice to integrate government agencies’ applications and databases with X-Road. Nortal wants to strongly promote the success of the Finnish Service Bus Project, as well as to help Finnish authorities and businesses to take advantage of the benefits of the service bus. "Nortal and its partner network has a long-term experience and accumulated in-depth knowledge of building Estonian eServices and applications, as well as the integration with X-Road. This know-how is available in Finland through our local company on one-stop-shop basis,” added Timo A. Rantanen, head of Nortal Public Sector and Services Business in Finland.

"We are very pleased for the first concrete steps of service bus-related cooperation between Finland and Estonia, It's great that the best know-how in both countries is harnessed to develop increasingly versatile, cost-effective, user-friendly and reliable online services for eGovernment," said Rantanen.

Nortal´s contacts for further information:
Jukka Lehtonen, +358 500 502 639 
Juha Manninen, +358 40 671 6145
Timo A. Rantanen, +358 400 621 597

See also:
Release by Henna Virkkunen, Finland’s Minister of Public Administration and Local Government
Release by Juhan Parts, Estonia’s Minister of Economic Affairs and Communications (in Estonian)

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