The “E-Health Switzerland 2.0” strategy 2018-2022 initiates what has long been attempted in Germany, namely the introduction of an electronic document for the exchange of patient data in healthcare: a Swiss Electronic Health Record (EPD). Reason for a critical review of this strategy in the broader context of societal, social and economic changes within the digital agenda was provided by the results of the empirica Digital Health Index in their study #SmartHealthSystems: international comparison of digital strategies. On behalf of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, empirica was commissioned to benchmark and rank countries’ digitized health systems based on more than 30 political and technical indicators. National Councillor Graf-Litscher quoted the study results as justification for a parliamentary interpellation to the Federal Council: “Successful countries are characterized by a trio of effective strategy, political leadership and coordinating national institutions.
Of a total of 17 surveyed countries, Switzerland ranked 14th overall and is thus not among the successful countries. Nevertheless, the study confirms that Switzerland is in a state of transformation that creates the necessary technical conditions to be able to digitally catch up in a few years. In its statement, the Federal Council considers measures adopted in the E-Health Switzerland 2.0 strategy to be groundbreaking. For its reasoning, the Federal Council once again takes up the empirica study and points out that Switzerland’s poor ranking in the areas of “technical implementation and readiness” as well as “actual use” in the Digital Health Index should improve significantly with the successful introduction and deployment of the EPD.
The #SmartHealthSystems study and further information on digital health in Switzerland can be found here.