Swiss eHealth Barometer 2022: improvement in health network within reach
Despite critical voices in the media, the Swiss eHealth-Barometer 2022 shows that the majority of healthcare professionals favour the introduction of electronic patient records (EPRs) as defined in federal legislation. What healthcare professionals find particularly useful about EPRs is the way they optimize processes.
“The EPR offers more advantages than disadvantages. It is a key step towards the digitalization of the healthcare system. This is in line with the wishes of the medical profession and the population."
Better exchange within reach
The majority of health professionals see a great or certain need for improvement or innovation in “digital interfaces for exchange with other health professionals outside their own institution”. However, 10 percent of the medical profession state that the EPD has completely reduced the need to use exchange formats other than the EPD. This is the first empirical evidence that with the EPD, among other things, the extensive exchange efforts can be reduced or even almost completely reduced. Spitex Switzerland is also counting on this increase in efficiency and recommends that its organisations use the EPD: “The benefit increases significantly if the EPD is used by all health care facilities and professionals and provided with relevant information so that information is available promptly,” explains Cornelis Kooijman, Head of Basics and Development at Spitex Switzerland, “our organisations have relevant, electronically managed health information which belongs in an EPD. It is now important that Spitex organisations actively engage in regular communities in their care region and that the providers of an EPD openly approach the organisations and demonstrate the benefits of the EPD.”
More user experience needed
Adrian Schmid, Head of eHealth Suisse, classifies: “The fundamentally positive attitude towards digital networking and the EPD is pleasing. This cannot be taken for granted, especially in the current start-up phase of the EPD. Many healthcare institutions have invested, but the benefits are only sporadic because not many EPDs have been opened yet. Specifically, there is still a lack of extensive user experience: In the current study, the proportion of the population that has an EPD is in the per mille range. It is therefore all the more important that health professionals actively recommend the EPD to patients/clients/residents. Because, as the study shows, 20 percent of the population who would not open an EPD in principle would change their minds if a health professional recommended the EPD to them. Criticism continues to be levelled at the voluntary nature of the EPD for outpatient service providers and the timeliness of the available information.
The population is positive about health apps
Health apps are becoming increasingly important in everyday medical life. The proportion of people who can imagine using health apps or already do so has increased significantly since the last study in 2021. It is mainly the 18-64 year olds who are open to the use of such apps. The SwissCovid app also received broad approval during the COVID 19 pandemic: the majority believed in the usefulness of the app and appreciated that it helped them lead a normal life. Almost half of those who received a notification of a possible infection subsequently got tested. Awareness of the usefulness of such health apps will therefore remain high.
Persuasion needed on the part of EPD providers
The EPD can therefore benefit from the success of the SwissCovid app, but still needs some convincing in certain places. “Delays and difficulties in setting up the home communities and EPD platforms have caused uncertainty among the homes. In parallel, there is a lack of concrete user experience. The mood of the homes towards the EPD is correspondingly restrained and critical in some cases,” explains Anna Jörger, research associate at Curaviva, “However, with good functionalities, the providers of the EPD can create benefits in the future, which will also convince the homes.”
For the Swiss eHealth Barometer 2022, 1,438 healthcare professionals and healthcare stakeholders from five fields of activity (doctors, IT managers in hospitals, nursing homes, eHealth managers in cantons, members of Spitex Switzerland) were surveyed between 1 November 2021 and 3 January 2022, as well as 1,207 Swiss residents between 3 and 17 January 2022.
The detailed analyses can be found at: www.e-healthforum.ch.
Use permitted with reference to the source “Swiss eHealth Barometer of the Swiss eHealth Forum in collaboration with gfs.bern”.