The Delphi Project: The Implications of Health Data Linkages
The use of Electronic Health Record (EHR) data in a provincially managed public healthcare system has been considered at both the end-user and provincial planning level. The information contained in a health record provides in-depth knowledge of an individual’s health status and, when combined with health services and administration databases, can augment the breadth of health-related knowledge of a population. The ability to link healthcare information at a system-wide level offers the potential for understanding the entire continuum of care a user may be provided from beginning to end. The Deliver Primary Healthcare Information Project (DELPHI Project), a project dedicated to the creation of a researchable database created through the linkage of EHRs in family practice to health service and administration databases, offers insight into the application of health data linkages in a public healthcare system. Lessons learned from the DELPHI Project will be presented including a discussion of patient privacy, EHR implementation, data quality, and data linkage issues. These largely technological issues will then be further discussed in relation to the knowledge gained through the linkage of health data and subsequent societal implications.
Keywords: Primary Care Research, Family Practice, Family Physician, Electronic Health Record
Mr. Gavin Giles
DELPHI Project Coordinator, The University of Western Ontario, Centre for Studies in Family Medicine
Ms Vijaya Chevendra
DELPHI Project Systems Analyst, The University of Western Ontario, Centre for Studies in Family Medicine