Working together with other parties, Swiss Post wants to pave the way towards a unified technical infrastructure for the electronic patient record. It therefore plans to take a 75 percent shareholding in Axsana, an operating company for the electronic patient record, presumably by end-September 2022, and has signed an appropriate agreement with Axsana and its owners. For Swiss Post, this move is an important step towards shaping the healthcare system of the future.

Swiss Post firmly believes in the value of the electronic patient record (EPR) as a cornerstone of digitized healthcare. Today, the company supports five electronic patient record providers, specifically core communities, in every linguistic region of Switzerland, as a technology partner. It develops and provides these communities with the necessary technical infrastructure, i.e. the underlying technology that these communities use to operate the electronic patient record, which they offer to residents.

Swiss Post wants to continue to play a leading role as a technology partner for the electronic patient record in future. It is therefore planning to take a majority shareholding in the operating company Axsana, which offers the EPR under the brand name Xsana in the catchment area of the XAD core community across 14 cantons. The two owners of Axsana, Cantosana and the supporting association XAD, each own half of Axsana, while Swisscom develops and provides Axsana with the technical EPR infrastructure required. Expected to take effect on 30 September 2022, Swiss Post plans to acquire a 75 percent shareholding in Axsana. The company is currently in talks with Axsana, Cantosana and the supporting association XAD. “By taking a majority shareholding in Axsana, we want to advance the electronic patient record and give digitization in the healthcare sector a further boost,” says Nicole Burth, Member of Executive Management at Swiss Post and Head of the Communication Services unit.

At the beginning of August 2022, Swiss Post, Cantosana, the supporting association XAD and Axsana signed the agreement needed for Swiss Post to acquire a majority stake in Axsana. Among other things, this agreement stipulates that, in future, Axsana will offer and operate the electronic patient record using Swiss Post’s technical infrastructure. “Swisscom will no longer be involved with the electronic patient record and will support the transition towards this new solution. Digital health is and will remain a strategic focal point for Swisscom. We are increasingly focusing on developing our solution portfolio for the outpatient sector, hospitals and health insurers, and on connecting these entities,” says Urs Lehner, Head of Business Customers and a Member of the Swisscom Group Executive Board.

Axsana to become a subsidiary of Swiss Post
Once Swiss Post has acquired this majority shareholding, Axsana will become a subsidiary of Swiss Post, and will continue to operate as an independent company. The 15 employees at Axsana will continue to be employed at Axsana. Both parties have agreed not to disclose details of the ongoing talks and the planned acquisition. Swiss Post, Axsana, Cantosana and the supporting association XAD are confident that the acquisition agreed between Swiss Post and Axsana will be equally beneficial to the general public and service providers such as hospitals, medical practices, outpatient doctors, care-at-home organizations and homes. For instance, accessing the electronic patient record will be even easier for the public, and additional applications will add value to the service.

More opening points are planned for the general public
Individuals can already open an electronic patient record in the canton of Aargau or in Eastern Switzerland at selected Swiss Post branches. Additional such EPR opening points are planned for the coverage area of Axsana and the XAD core community in future. The goal of all parties involved with the electronic patient record is and will remain that the general public can verify their identity online and open an EPR quickly, simply and electronically in a single step. This requires a comprehensive digital opening process.

Swiss Post is continuing to develop its EPR infrastructure to ensure that it will also be prepared for future use cases. These include e-medication, which allows users to keep track of their current medication, or being able to pair the EPR with mobile devices such as smartphones. Nicole Burth: “Today, medical practices aren’t the only places that provide healthcare – it is everywhere. The electronic patient record is essentially the key that will give the Swiss general public round-the-clock access to their medical data, wherever they are.”

Source: Swiss Post