Signature and authentication in digital healthcare
The electronic Health Professional Card (eHPC) is a personalized smart card that can be used in the telematics infrastructure as ID for healthcare professionals. The eHPC enhances data security and privacy in the digital health network. Doctors and dentists, psychotherapists or pharmacists can obtain the eHPC from their respective federal state chambers and gematik GmbH for mail-order pharmacies.
Don’t miss the deadlines – Order your eHPC now
Since 1 July 2021 at the latest, doctors and dentists now need an electronic health professional card to access the TI, as from this date onwards service providers are required to keep the electronic patient file.
More deadlines for the TI on the horizon: Beginning 1 October 2021, medical practices will be required to transmit certificates of incapacity to work issued to patients to the statutory health insurance companies in electronic form – and for this you will also need an eHPC. Also from 1 October, all doctors will be able to issue e‑prescriptions – initially on a voluntary basis – before the e‑prescription is finally made compulsory throughout Germany at the turn of the year 2021/2022 for everyone insured under the statutory health insurance scheme. By this point in time at the latest, all service providers will require the electronic health professional card.
Secure access to the telematics infrastructure and the electronic health card
Write access to TI applications
Qualified electronic signature
Encryption of medical data
Future-proof with the latest G 2.1 card generation
The eHPC enables legally binding signatures and authentication in the telematics infrastructure.
The electronic Health Professional Card (eHPC) unambiguously identifies the holder as a member of the relevant medical profession and offers secure access to the telematics infrastructure and the electronic health card. With the introduction of the telematics infrastructure (TI), paper-based processes will increasingly make way for digital processes. The eHPC is required in order to create legally secure electronic signatures which are mandatory for certain medical applications (e.g. electronic doctor’s letters, digital lab referrals).
The electronic health professional card (eHPC) will become an essential instrument for staff in the health sector because it provides the following security-relevant functions:
The eHPC is a high-quality ID card in credit-card format that bears a photo of the holder and their signature.
Secure authentication and identification
Doctors, dentists, psychotherapists and pharmacists can use the eHPC as a means of identity in the digital world of the healthcare sector. The card provides access to specially protected areas, such as the TI as well as portals provided by the medical chambers or statutory health insurance associations. eHPC holders can authenticate themselves online with the card.
Using the eHPC, holders can generate an electronic signature (qualified electronic signature – QES), for instance, in order to digitally sign an electronic doctor's letter. This signature is legally equivalent to the hand-written signature.
Medical data encryption
The eHPC can be used to send encrypted medical data that can be decrypted on receipt. In this way, the eHPC allows medical professionals to securely exchange electronic data among each other or with hospitals and health insurance companies. This boosts the level of privacy when personal medical data is transmitted.
Secure access to the electronic health card
The eHPC can be used to access patient data stored on the electronic health card.
Application and delivery
The eHPC for doctors, dentists, psychotherapists, pharmacists is issued by their respective federal state medical chamber and gematik GmbH for mail-order pharmacies. The application process differs in certain aspects depending on the sector (see FAQs). However, the health professional card is generally ordered directly from D‑Trust. Please note that the ordering process varies depending on the chamber and sector. In some cases when applying for an eHPC, the applicant must first register with the portal of the respective chamber in order to receive a reference number.
You can find out where to start with your application and whether your chamber assigns a reference number or if you can apply directly to trust service provider D-Trust in our Overview of processes for ordering the eHPC from the respective chambers.
Order your health professional card now via the D‑Trust Application Portal.
eHPC add-on: online signatures with sign-me eHealth
In addition to the electronic health professional card, the remotely triggered qualified signature with sign-me eHealth can be used outside the telematics infrastrucutre to sign electronic documents in the healthcare sector, e.g. health insurance accounts and prescriptions. No matter where, the signature can be conveniently used via the web browser, irrespective of hardware or software. There are also plans to integrate this into customary IT systems in medical practices. sign‑me eHealth has also been used up to now outside the telematics infrastructure using secure two-factor authentication (with SMS-TAN or biometric), it complies with the eIDAS Regulation and can therefore be used throughout the EU in a manner recognised by law. The application process is simple and possible without any additional identification if consent to this is granted when ordering the eHPC.
In order to spare you double trips, when you order the eHPC, you can consent to D‑Trust also using the identification carried out for the eHPC to create a qualified certificate for the sign‑me remote signature. All you need to do in this case is to tick the box entitled ‘Consent to use identification ....’ in D‑Trust’s application portal. There are no extra costs or obligations involved.
To find out more about sign‑me eHealth, go to our product page.
The electronic Health Professional Card is used here
Our Service and Support section contains FAQs regarding the electronic Health Professional Card along with information and tips for activating the eHPC.