Swiss Post plans to acquire a 75% shareholding in electronic patient record (EPR) operating company Axsana by September 30, 2022, and has signed an agreement with the company’s owners.
Axsana offers EPR under the brand name Xsana in the catchment area of the XAD core community across 14 cantons in Switzerland. 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 the 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.
The two owners of Axsana – Cantosana and the supporting association, XAD – each own half of Axsana, and developer Swisscom provides Axsana with the technical EPR infrastructure required. Swiss Post is currently in talks with Axsana, Cantosana and the supporting association XAD.
At the beginning of August 2022, Swiss Post, Cantosana, XAD and Axsana signed the agreement needed for Swiss Post to acquire a majority stake in Axsana. This agreement stipulates, among other things, that in the future Axsana will offer and operate the EPR using Swiss Post’s technical infrastructure. 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 enables users to keep track of their current medication, or being able to pair the EPR with mobile devices such as smartphones.
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 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 care homes. For instance, accessing the electronic patient record will be even easier for the public, and additional applications will add value to the service.
Working with other parties, Swiss Post intends to facilitate a unified technical infrastructure for the EPR. For Swiss Post, this move is an important step toward shaping the healthcare system of the future. Swiss Post believes in the value of the EPR as a cornerstone of digitized healthcare. Currently, the company supports five electronic patient record providers, specifically core communities, in every linguistic region of Switzerland. It develops and provides these technology partners with the necessary technical infrastructure, i.e. the underlying technology that the communities use to operate the electronic patient record, which they offer to residents.
Nicole Burth, a member of executive management at Swiss Post and head of the communication services unit, said, “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. 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.”
Urs Lehner, head of business customers and a member of the Swisscom Group executive board, said, “Swisscom will no longer be involved with the EPR and will support the transition toward 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.”
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