Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Timothy Stablein




privacy, EMR, patient, trust, care


In order to better manage patient records, hospitals and health care settings across the nation have begun to implement electronic medical record systems (EMR). The purpose of this transition is to reduce excessive amounts of paper, to decrease administrative costs, and to increase the overall quality of care. With the implementation of the EMR, relationships between physicians and their patients have the potential to change. Research has shown that patient perceptions are changing regarding confidentiality, trust, and privacy in the doctor-patient relationship because of patient medical records being stored electronically as opposed to being locked away in a file cabinet. Building on these findings, I analyze in-depth interviews of patients (N=44) to explore patient perceptions of EMRs and Privacy. The purpose of this research is to discover how patients perceive EMR, how they perceive privacy, and how they think the EMR plays a role in that privacy perception. I found two types of trust that have arisen due to EMR implementation, interpersonal trust and institutional trust. These types of trust are involved with providing the foundation for the formation of privacy perceptions. When patients are not concerned with the inappropriate exposure of their personal health information and perceive that the privacy of their records stored in the EMR is being adequately protected, they are much more likely to perceive trust and privacy with their physician and/or within their health care setting, and will be more likely to disclose their personal health information, which will lead to better patient care.