The government’s e-health strategy
As early as 2007, the Federal Department of Home Affairs formulated an “e-health strategy for Switzerland”. According to the Federal Council, e-health should help give the population access to a high-quality, highly efficient, highly secure and cost-effective health care system. “E-health” therefore stands for the integrated use of information and communication technologies to support all stakeholders and processes in health care.
The strategy set ambitious targets. For example, electronic data exchange between the service providers was to have been established by the end of 2012. By the end of 2015, everyone in Switzerland should have been able to use the electronic patient record. These targets were not achieved.
In June 2015, Parliament passed the federal law on the electronic patient dossier (EPDG). It comes into force in 2017 and stipulates the introduction of electronic data exchange and the EPD. Hospitals and homes must be connected at the latest three years after the law comes into force, home care services have five years to complete the changeover. Participation is optional for doctors and patients – the principle is known as “double voluntary action”.