Swiss eHealth Summit: 'Come with questions, leave with answers'

HITN: Who is the Electronic Patient Dossier (EPD), the Swiss version of EPRs, workshop organised at the Swiss eHealth Summit in September primarily aimed at?

Schmid: It is aimed not only at medical service providers, CIOs, CEOs and EPR project managers from hospitals, but also representatives of the main communities. The dialogue between these groups is particularly important now in Switzerland, as the hospitals are joining the regular communities in the course of EPD introduction and entering into a contractual relationship with them. There is therefore a fundamental need for the sharing of information. Many questions are currently being asked in hospitals – we want to take a closer look at and discuss these considerations together at the workshop, so that each participant can learn something for themselves.

HITN: What challenges does the introduction of the EPD pose for hospitals?

Schmid: The hospitals must currently join the regular communities and be able to serve the EPD from mid-April 2020 for the benefit of the patients. However, the EPD is not only a technical connection, but also has an impact on the entire organisation in the hospital. It is therefore primarily about processes in the hospital in dealing with treatment-relevant information of the patients. In the workshop we also address the interaction between the communities that provide the framework and the hospitals that have to use these services technically and organise them internally.

HITN: What exactly can the participants learn in your workshop and take with them into their own working environment?

Schmid: Hospitals have to deal with a whole range of topics and make decisions: how do we integrate the EPD into our primary system? How do we deal with the requirements for the authentication of EPD users? Which individuals or groups of people should use the EPD? If we form groups – how large are they and how are they composed? Who decides according to what criteria whether documents are transferred from the EPD to the primary system? And which documents are stored in the patient’s EPD after treatment? Is this done manually? Or do we have fixed rules?

Those who have already done so and those who still have to do so should be able to find and exchange information here. It is a forum for exchanging experiences.

HITN: The hospital tour at Thun Hospital takes place directly before your session…

Schmid: Exactly. The Thun Hospital is already very well digitised. I think it makes sense to combine the events and see how the solutions are implemented on site in detail.

HITN: How can interested participants best prepare for the EPD workshop?

Schmid: Ideally, the participants have already decided on a home community to which they would like to join. Whoever hasn’t done this by September should do so. It makes sense that participants are already integrating the EPD into their hospital. Then they will also know which tasks they have to solve internally or together with the home community. So they can also tell other hospital representatives how they approach and implement the topic. My hope is that the participants come with questions and leave with answers. We will also present the results of the EPD workshop to all participants of the Swiss eHealth Summit in a panel of experts in the Kursaal Bern the following day.

Further information can be found here.

The Swiss eHealth Summit, organised by HIMSS and the Swiss Society of Medical Informatics, will take place on 12 September in Bern, Switzerland. Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.

Anna Engberg is a Wiesbaden-based freelance journalist specialising in health and technology.

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