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Local News Summary of August, 16th

  • Switzerland's first electronic patient files introduced in Basel yesterday 
  • Rheincenter in Weil am Rhein: Police officers find blood-covered man
  • Allegations of racism against «Negro-Rhygass» carnival band

Switzerland's first electronic patient files introduced in Basel yesterday 

Electronic patient files were on Wednesday officially introduced in Basel, the pioneer city for the project in German-speaking Switzerland.

Summer holidays are planned from when the travel agency staff confirm that some vaccinations will be necessary for the chosen destination. But where is your vaccination card? What is described here is familiar to most people – but the search for such a card may not be necessary in the future. Basel-Stadt patients can now have an electronic patient file created (EPD). This step towards digitisation makes it possible to view all health data at all times in the future.

New electronic patient file is called myEPD

Yet these electronic patient files do not only enable patients to store and manage their data digitally – the information is also available to health facilities. However, patients always retain the right to determine who should have access to their files. They can also decide which information they want to disclose and what they want to keep private. The patient file for Northwestern Switzerland is called myEPD. Creating such a dossier is voluntary and free of charge.

Basel-Stadt is a pioneer

Since the implementation of the Federal Law on electronic patient files in April 2017, all Swiss hospitals, nursing homes, and birth centres will be obliged to offer EPD as of 2020. The Health Department of Basel-Stadt (DG BS) has played a pioneering role in the introduction of EPD in German-speaking Switzerland since 2011.  The Health Northwestern Switzerland Association, which is behind the EPD, has continued the activities of DG BS and expanded them to the cantons of Baselland and Solothurn. The total cost for the introduction between 2017 until 2020 is estimated at 5 million Swiss francs. The Federal Government has approved the maximum subsidy of 2 million francs for the scheme. The EPD platform was developed with Swisscom Health, a full subsidiary of Swisscom.

How does myEPD work?

In order to create your own patient file, an open treatment case at the University Hospital Basel is mandatory. myEPD can initially only be created directly at the University Hospital Basel at the reception desk or admission office in Clinic 1 at Spitalstrasse 21. Patients first need to obtain comprehensive information on the online portal and print out and sign the declaration of consent, which can be found there. This signed declaration of consent, a valid ID or passport, and a health insurance card must be brought along. For a secure login to myEPD, you need a mobile phone capable of sending text messages. 

Which information is stored?

Documents with medical content – such as withdrawal reports from your last hospital stay, vaccination card, organ donation card, last will, medication overviews or prescriptions for glasses – can be uploaded to myEPD. In medical emergencies, when the patient is unconscious or unresponsive, healthcare professionals can access the electronic patient file without prior access rights. The myEPD owner is immediately and automatically notified of any emergency access. This emergency access can also be excluded on request. So far, no x-rays can be uploaded to the system yet. The responsible authorities think that this information will also be available to doctors in a year's time.

What about confidentiality?

There are three levels of confidentiality that govern access to the uploaded documents. They are: «Normal access», «Restricted access» and «Secret». Health professionals can choose between «normal» and «restricted access» when uploading. It is possible to change the confidentiality level of each document at any time. «Secret» documents can be about alcohol abuse in the past, for example, but it does not play a role in the treatment of the patient. In the interest of the best and quickest treatment, it is recommended that all necessary information should be made available.

EPDs already exist in Scandinavia but are still blocked in Germany because of data protection. For once, Basel is playing a pioneering role throughout Switzerland.

Rheincenter in Weil am Rhein: Police officers find blood-covered man

A man who was covered in blood in front of the Rheincentre in Weil-Friedlingen on Tuesday has been taken to hospital for treatment.

Passers-by immediately alerted the police. By the time they arrived he was walking towards Dreiländerbrücke towards France, carrying a broken glass bottle. The officers followed him, asked him to stop and persuaded him to put the bottle on the ground.

The man had deep and heavily bleeding cuts on one of his arms. The 53-year-old man was responsive and could be taken to hospital by ambulance. The police say it is believed the man inflicted the injuries on himself.


Allegations of racism against «Negro-Rhygass» carnival band

Since last weekend, various social media channels have been criticising the «Negro-Rhygass», a Basel Gugge (carnival band).

Their Facebook page is no longer available after many messages reached them asking to change their name and logo immediately. The band logo shows a dark-skinned person hitting a drum. This person represents a slave from the colonial period.

«Negro-Rhygass» has existed under this name since 1927. Therefore, it is a historical name that has nothing to do with racism, the chairman told the «20 Minuten» newspaper.

Furthermore, the Facebook page of the «Gugge Mohrekopf» (founded in 1947) has also been deactivated. This Gugge is also said to have been overflowed with messages and complaints.