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Trust in Electronic Health Records

Researchers Involved

Felix Gille, PhD

Kimon Papadopoulos

Prof. Dr. Viktor von Wyl

Dr. Stefan Richter

Prof. Elske Ammenwerth

Dr. Verena Struckmann

Federica Zavattaro

Prof. Simona Stano

Prof. Antonio Santangelo

Dr. Guillaume Lame

Prof. David Townend

Dr. Birgit Wouters

Nina Stahl

research areas

Digital health
European Public Health


2022 - 2025

The successful integration of electronic health records in healthcare leads to improved care, increased health system effectiveness, higher health care efficiency, and much more.

For a successful implementation of electronic health records, having the trust of the population is key. But what exactly constitutes this type of trust? Our goal is to describe the trust of the general population in the use of electronic health records in a multi-national, European context. The knowledge gained through this research can be used in the future as a basis for health policy, health communication, and health system evaluations and recommendations.


Public trust in the handling, security, and protection of data is fundamental to the success of data-driven activities in health care. This is especially true in regard to the use of electronic health records. Unfortunately, there is little clarity on what exactly public trust in electronic health records means. As well, we lack a clear understanding of the dynamic between public trust and electronic health records across different countries and their respective healthcare systems. Due to national policy interests, cross-border health care, and international health data transfer, a precise conceptual understanding is imperative to the successful implementation of electronic health records across different countries, cultures, and contexts. To fill this knowledge gap, we explore what public trust in the use of electronic health records means in explicit, concrete terms in a multi-national, European environment.

Register here for the Dutch focus groups:


Public trust in electronic health records is the foundation for the successful and legitimate implementation of electronic health records in health systems.


The goal is to develop models for Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Italy, France and the Netherlands that describe the trust of citizens in electronic health records within their respective healthcare systems.


To collect data for this project, we are conducting focus groups with our research partners in Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Italy, France and the Netherlands. We invite small groups of members of the public to talk with us about trust in electronic health records. The results are then analyzed, and models are created for each country. These models will describe the trust (or absence of trust) of the population in regard to electronic health records.

Project partners


Prof. Dr. Elske Ammenwerth & Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Stefan Richter. Institut für Medizinische Informatik. UMIT TIROL – The Tyrolian Private University for healthcare and technology.


Dr. Verena Struckmann, PostDoc, Management im Gesundheitswesen, Technische Universität Berlin


Prof. Antonio Santangelo & Prof. Simona Stano, Dipartimento di Filosofia e Scienze dell’Educazione, Università degli Studi di Torino, UNITO



Dr Guillaume Lame, CentraleSupélec, Université Paris-Saclay


The Netherlands:

Nina Stahl, Prof David Townend & Dr Birgit Wouters, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University

Background information:

Gille, F., Smith, S., & Mays, N. Why public trust in health care systems matters and deserves greater research attention. Journal of Health Services Research & Policy, 2015, Vol. 20(1) 62–64.

Gille, F.  About the essence of trust: Tell the truth and let me choose – I might trust you.  Int J Public Health.

Gille, F., Smith, S., & Mays, N. (2020). What is public trust in the healthcare system? A new conceptual framework developed from qualitative data in England. Social Theory & Health.


The project is financed by the Digital Society Initiative, UZH