How will the EPR develop going forward?

It will be some time before the EPR is in widespread use. That’s because it’s more than just another digital service. The sharing of information between patients and their healthcare providers involves a cultural change.

EPR constantly evolving

The EPR will be gradually refined and improved. Initially documents will mainly be shared as PDFs. But it won’t be long before interactive formats can also be integrated on the EPR platform. This will enable doctors and pharmacists, for example, to adjust their patients’ current medication list directly in the EPR. The more people open an EPR and the more healthcare providers are prepared to store key documents in the record, the greater the benefit of the EPR will be. The goal should be that all the health professionals involved in a patient’s care have access to the same information at all times. This will make the flow of information relating to a treatment better and more efficient.

An ideal tool in a near future

In the video clip (in German) the pharmacist updates Ms Wegmüller’s medication list after her family doctor has already made entries. To enable this to happen it should be possible to record data in the EPR in a structured and standardised form so that different computers can process it logically and automatically. Until now this often hasn’t been the case.

Why? For one thing, the treatment software often isn’t up to the task. At the moment PDFs are practically the only data format that can be exchanged between hospitals, retirement homes, medical practices, etc. For another thing, sharing information on medications on a standardised basis is a complex matter that’s still being worked on.

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