COVID-19 emergency: actions implemented in the European context

European Reference Networks

European Commission has developed a web conferencing support system for the clinical management of COVID-19 patients (COVID19-CMSS) that will support all EU hospitals treating complex COVID-19 cases by providing a communication mean to the treating clinicians. The scope of the system is to focus exclusively on supporting clinicians in their daily practice.

The COVID19-CMSS is aiming to allow clinicians to communicate easily with any other colleagues across the EU and EEA to exchange knowledge and to discuss cases as the gained clinical experience can represent an important contribution that could benefit hundreds of patients and healthcare professionals.

Any healthcare professional involved in complex COVID-19 cases can access the COVID19-CMSS and get the support of a dedicated Helpdesk by registering through this link where detailed system description and a privacy statement in compliance with the GDPR can be found.

Further information on the COVID19-CMSS functionalities are available on the European Commission page.

In addition, in order to help clinicians working with CPMS during COVID-19 crisis, two new codes have been implemented into the CPMS environment to identify COVID-19, using ICD-10 classification.

  • U07.1 COVID-19, virus identified– An emergency ICD-10 code to be assigned to a disease diagnosis of COVID-19 confirmed by laboratory testing.
  • U07.2 COVID-19, virus not identified– An emergency ICD-10 code to be assigned to a clinical or epidemiological diagnosis of COVID-19 where laboratory confirmation is inconclusive or not available.

EuRRECa and EuRR-Bone

A number of e-REC users as well as others have approached the team to enquire whether the platform can be used to capture the occurrence of COVID19 infection in people with chronic conditions. Given that the e-REC platform can serve this purpose right now, an additional section has been added to capture the occurrence of a new COVID-19 infection in a patient with an existing endocrine or bone condition.

If you are already an active user of e-REC, then after login, you will need to revise your reporting set up at e-REC. If you have an In Progress return you will need to submit it or delete it before you can change your reporting setup.

If you would like to use the e-REC platform, please create an account

European Medicines Agency (EMA)

EU authorities published on 20th March 2020 the Guidance to sponsors on how to manage clinical trials during the COVID-19 pandemic, a recommendation to guide sponsors on how to manage clinical trials and their participants, given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on European health systems.

​The guidance provides concrete information on changes and protocol deviations which may be needed in the conduct of clinical trials to deal with extraordinary situations, e.g. if trial participants need to be in self-isolation or quarantine, access to public places (including hospitals) is limited due to the risk of spreading infections, and healthcare professionals are being reallocated. There is specific advice on the initiation of new clinical trials for treatments of COVID-19, and in particular on the need for large, multinational trial protocols.

Please check EMA’s website for further updates and consult also instructions regarding clinical trials issued by the national authorities (e.g. national Medicines Agencies) and hospitals.

​European Commission

European Commission recently adopted the Guidelines on EU emergency assistance in cross-border cooperation in healthcare which will help national, regional and local authorities, through a wide range of existing policies and schemes, to enhance cross-border healthcare for patients suffering from COVID-19, but also for other pathologies, with a view to relieve the burden placed on health systems.

Guidelines summarise patient rights under the Cross-Border Healthcare Directive and recall the role of the NCPs to provide general information to patients. This guidance applies to emergency healthcare only in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The full press release is available here: Commission encourages and facilitates cross-border treatment of patients. Translations in all EU languages will follow soon.