Swiss Post strengthens its position in healthcare market
Swiss Post is expanding its commitment to eHealth and strengthening its position with two major national partners. Health Info Net AG (HIN) set up by the Swiss Medical Association, FMH, and the Professional Association of Swiss Pharmacists, Ofac, have decided to enter into a contractual relationship with vivates, the modular eHealth solution from Swiss Post. Swiss Post has worked in the eHealth sector for a number of years, and with vivates, offers a leading solution for the electronic transmission of confidential health information. Together with the Swiss Allergy Centre aha! and the Swiss Society for Allergology and Immunology (SSAI), Swiss Post has also launched an electronic allergy card app.
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The vivates eHealth online platform from Swiss Post continues to gain in significance, with the signing of agreements between Swiss Post and Ofac and HIN – launched in joint by the FMH Swiss Medical Association and the Ärztekasse health insurance fund. In the past year, the Aarau and Baden cantonal hospitals became vivates customers, just as the Cantons of Geneva, Vaud and Ticino did before them. With HIN, vivates has selected a well-established partner of physicians and health institutions in Switzerland. Most healthcare professionals in Switzerland already have a HIN electronic identity, enabling them to register with vivates without additional expense in the future.
Ofac will integrate the vivates Care Plan and Medication modules, connecting around 70% of all pharmacies who already use the Ofac system to vivates. Synergies between the two networks can be efficiently exploited as vivates and the Ofac services are connected with one another.
vivates – the modular eHealth solution in Switzerland
With vivates, Swiss Post offers a modular eHealth solution which can cover all information flows between the various healthcare service providers, such as those relating to medica-tion or care plans. Currently vivates consists of five modules, which can be combined as required. Each module covers the specific requirements of individual target groups within the healthcare sector. With the referral module, for instance, doctors can quickly, simply and securely transfer their patients to hospital. The transfers to hospital are done electronically, even if the doctor has authorized the transfer by letter or fax. Swiss Post digitizes transfers received confidentially and transmits them electronically using vivates. There are similar modules for the transfer of reports, care plans and medication data between service providers. The most comprehensive module includes a complete electronic patient record which can be viewed by the physicians authorized by the patients as well as by the patients themselves at any time.
Secure, flexible and modular: the allergy card
The underlying technology used by vivates is highly secure, since all information transmitted is always encrypted and, as before, remains decentralized since it is stored locally by the various health service providers. Swiss Post merely ensures the secure conveyance of the information and consolidates the data on the platform. The solution’s highly flexible nature offers scope for applications that are completely in tune with the customers’ needs. One example is the electronic allergy card produced in conjunction with aha! The app developed on vivates by Swiss Allergy Centre and the Swiss Society for Allergology and Immunology (SSAI) allows the information users have recorded on the allergies to be seamlessly linked at a later stage to other vivates modules. This enables allergy sufferers to always have important information about their allergies and medication at hand, and this information can also be confirmed by a physician or a pharmacist.
Huge potential in the eHealth market
Swiss Post sees huge potential in eHealth. An internal study conducted by Swiss Post has revealed that widespread use of vivates could save several hundred million francs per year in healthcare. Because the information required is always available electronically, administrative costs can be reduced and inappropriate treatment or unnecessary repetition of medical tests can be avoided. The electronic processing of health information fits with Swiss Post’s strategy of connecting the physical and digital worlds and increasingly positioning itself as an intermediary with a high degree of trust. Through its letter and parcel services, Swiss Post already performs an essential role in delivering healthcare information to the relevant stakeholders, both physicians and patients alike. With vivates, Swiss Post ensures that the information can be retrieved digitally at the right time at the right place.
Health Info Net AG
Health Info Net was founded in 1996 on the initiative of the Swiss Medical Association FMH and the Ärztekasse health insurance fund. The network of roughly 17,000 healthcare professionals and over 420 institutions enables its members to exchange electronic information securely and efficiently, and is one of the pioneers of eHealth in Switzerland.
Professional Association of Swiss Pharmacists, Ofac
The Professional Association of Swiss Pharmacists, Ofac, provides central services for approximately 70% of all Swiss pharmacies. Ofac’s main activity lies in invoicing the claims of its members and sending these either to the insurers or the insured. Each year over 16 million invoices with a total value of more than 2 billion francs are issued.
In addition to the invoicing service, Ofac today offers a wide range of tailored solutions to all community-based dispensaries, so that pharmacists are free to focus on the core tasks of their profession. In the eHealth sector, Ofac offers pharmacists secure applications as well as the technical means to ensure secure data exchange.
aha! Swiss Allergy Centre
aha! The Swiss Allergy Centre is committed to the needs and interests of over three million people with allergies, asthma, neurodermatitis and intolerances. The independent foundation aha! provides a support service to patients, carers and interested parties in the form of comprehensive information, advice and training. It is committed to raising public awareness about allergies and intolerances.
Swiss Society for Allergology and Immunology (SSAI)
The Swiss Society for Allergology and Immunology (SSAI) brings together a network of researchers, laboratory specialists and clinicians from hospitals and related medical practices in a single organization.