How Compassana and the Electronic Patient Record (EPR) complement each other

Same goals, different approaches – the EPR and our services are an excellent combination.

Peter Mittemeyer

13. September 2023

The electronic patient dossier is a central player in the Swiss healthcare system
The electronic patient dossier is a central player in the Swiss healthcare system (Graphic: iStock)

It is indeed appropriate to discuss the digitalisation of the Swiss healthcare system in a committed and contentious manner.  
The consensus across all industries is that digitalization is a transformational process and consists of many elements. The technology used is just one of them. Digitalisation impacts existing business models, the internal process organisation of facilities, and their collaboration with other facilities. Medical decisions can be made faster and with higher quality using a larger and better database. 
The multitude of independent health institutions (there are over 17,000 independent outpatient doctor’s practices in Switzerland alone) and the vast array of IT systems in use make point-to-point connections laborious and expensive.  
This is where Compassana comes in. The specific information needed by treatment teams is identified and made available from the vast amounts of medical data distributed across health institutions and with the patient. This ensures that relevant and current medical details are provided exactly when they are essential for decision-making. 
The collaboration between various professionals will be based on reliable data, enhancing patient safety and the quality of treatment. This means that before implementing the technology, work practices, required information, and business models must be aligned with one another. Only then will digitalization be successful.  
However, the digitalisation of the Swiss healthcare system cannot succeed on its own. The founding partners recognised this early on and formed a robust consortium of major health institutions and large health insurance companies, which initiated Compassana. A partnership within the Compassana ecosystem, along with its associated platform and tools, is open to everyone in Switzerland: both patients and health institutions. 
Now concerning the EPR: This is a very important solution as well and, according to its own definition, a collection of personal health documents of patients. The latter determine who may view which documents and when. Through a secured internet connection, the data stored in the EPR is accessible at all times for patients as well as healthcare professionals – provided it has been authorised for access.  
The goal of the EPR is formulated in the Federal Electronic Patient Record Act (EPRG) as follows: “The electronic patient record is intended to enhance the quality of medical treatment, improve treatment processes, increase patient safety, the efficiency of the healthcare system, and promote the health literacy of patients.” 
We pursue these exact goals with Compassana as well, but for instance, in our patient app, we offer features that go far beyond the EPR, such as sending secure messages, appointment booking, and automatically uploaded medication lists.  
Incidentally, the EPR is expected to be able to be linked with ecosystems starting in 2028. Of course, Compassana has long been in dialogue with the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) about more than just this.