Oliver Egger, the founder of agile health data information systems (ahdis) gmbh, was a special guest speaker in the IT'IS Foundation's Brown Bag Lunch seminar series on Thursday, August 9, 2018. Oliver ,one of the original founders of Schmid & Partner Engineering AG (SPEAG), is an ehealth architect who helps organizations exchange health data. Oliver presented on "Interoperability in eHealth with the Swiss EPR and HL7 FHIR".
In 2007, the Swiss government approved a measure called eHealth Strategy Switzerland, to lay the groundwork on the use of information technologies for networking in the health sector. This action led to the passage in 2016 of the Swiss Federal Law on Electronic Health Records. The new federal law on patients' electronic health records (EHR) is part of a broader e-health strategy that will allow patients to share treatment-relevant documents with their practitioners.
Oliver discussed the use of several existing open standards in ehealth architecture that facilitate EHR sharing and cooperation among healthcare providers. Health Level Seven International (HL7), founded in 1987, is a standards-developing organization working to provide a comprehensive framework for sharing health information electronically. The Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources is a new specification based on HL7 that takes emerging industry approaches into account. FHIR is used both as a stand-alone data exchange standard and in combination with other widely used standards. Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE) is an initiative that promotes coordinated use of established standards and improve the electronic sharing of healthcare information. Oliver informed us that Swiss law requires hospitals but not private practitioners in Switzerland to adopt the use of interoperable EHRs.
Many thanks to Oliver for his information-rich presentation and for bringing us up to speed on the implementation of interoperability of ehealth in Switzerland!