The introduction of national electronic patient records such as the electronic patient dossier EPD in Switzerland provides a new basis for digitizing healthcare processes at a national level. One process however, that is currently neglected within the Swiss EPD, is the scheduling process in healthcare. The objective of this work is to analyze the appointment scheduling process and the involved IT systems in order to develop an appointment data structure and a concept for cross-institutional exchange of appointment data. The analysis showed that various outpatient and inpatient information systems support appointment booking through proprietary solutions. A true standard for appointment data exchange is missing. We suggest an appointment data structure and a corresponding data exchange process based on the FHIR standard. In its current implementation, the Swiss EPD does not support this proposed appointment scheduling process. We discuss how potential additions such as the IHE Care Services Discovery (CSD) profile can provide better compatibility.
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