Although extensive studies on the effectiveness and cost efficiency of e-Health services do not yet exist, there is a growing body of evidence showing their great potential benefit for patients and health professionals, the end users of such services.
As Health Commissioner Vassiliou added at the time “The key to success is the full involvement of citizens, patients and health professionals”
The “Chain of Trust” project aimed to assess the perspective of the main end users of e-health services across the EU with the purpose of seeing if and how views have evolved since the initial deployment of e-health and what barriers there still are to have confidence in and acceptance of this innovative type of services. The vision informing the project approach has been high quality, patient-centred, equitable health care for all patients throughout the European Union: good practice and challenging of bad practices; equitable access to treatment and care and health-related quality of life at European level and at member state level. The project has resulted in a unique and unprecedented assessment of the views, needs, benefits and barriers related to e-health from the perspective of patients and health professionals.
Through a sustainable partnership between their leading representative EU umbrella organisations, the project focused on patients, doctors and nurses and at a more secondary level on pharmacists, since for these stakeholders e-health is still at a speculative stage. All target groups had the opportunity to voice their views through various methods focused on gathering qualitative information, that reflect the diversity of users and driven by a participatory approach.
The project managed to increase substantially the knowledge and understanding of the specific perspective of health professionals and patients amongst various stakeholders. The findings and the recommendations constituted a unique tool to inform policies and decision-making at various levels: in primis the EC, Member States health authorities, the EP, WHO, OECD, Council of Europe. This new knowledge base and awareness was of significant added value for the implementation of the EC Communication on e-Health that calls for recommendations from patients’ and health professionals’ groups. It also contributed to supporting the work of the e-health High Level Joint Initiative where a specific Task Force on ‘trust’ has been set up.
See project at: