Digital Health

Promoting use of the electronic patient record

From 2020, as many patients and specialists as possible should use the electronic patient record. To this end, a new white paper has proposed a number of on- and offline measures. These include an upstream portal with services which create personal benefit. The white paper also suggests translation assistance for patients and a hotline for clarification questions.

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According to law, the electronic patient record (EPR) should also promote health literacy among patients. Health literacy means the ability to take decisions which will have a positive impact on health.

The benefits of the EPR cannot be showcased unless it is actively used. For this reason, eHealth Suisse, Health Promotion Switzerland and Swiss Post have drawn up a white paper (German Version)Target not accessible addressing the question of how the relevant stakeholders can promote use of the EPR. It suggests tangible measures in five areas:

  • An increase in motivation to use the EPR
  • Promotion of health literacy both on- and offline
  • Promotion of system competence
  • General communication regarding the EPR
  • Securing of financing

The key proposals at a glance:

  • To increase motivation to use the EPR, a range of measures could be implemented, including an appealing name for the portal, easy usability and additional services. One conceivable option would be electronic value-added services which provide personal benefit in different life situations, such as prior to a birth or in the event of a long-term illness.
  • Services designed to increase health literacy should be implemented in the EPR and at physical points of care. Potential examples include a hotline for medical queries, “translation assistance” for patients, communication aids for specialists to ensure successful dialogue with patients and special training material for senior citizens and young people.
  • The white paper also recommends general communication measures regarding the EPR, with a particular focus on the benefits and data protection.
  • To secure financing, various measures can be examined, such as fee-based value-added or advisory services, acquisition of external funding or new models of health insurance settlements.