Health data coalition expands data-sharing application

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 62, No. 5, June 2020, Pages 177-178 News

The Health Data Coalition (HDC) has expanded HDC Discover, a data-sharing application that allows family doctors to compare electronic medical record (EMR) data from their clinic to provincial averages. Doctors can then share the information with their colleagues and work together to improve their practices in order to improve patient care and inform strategic decision making.

Dr Kathleen Ross, president of Doctors of BC, emphasizes that as more physicians enroll, HDC will be able to generate a more robust picture of population health, helping physicians identify and develop ways to improve patient care.

This physician-governed not-for-profit has worked closely with government and led the negotiation with technology companies to provide access to information that will change the way health care is delivered in the province. The application was created to provide a community view of primary care data across BC, which had been unavailable until now.

Dr Shirley Sze, chair of the HDC board of directors, points out that this tool creates the opportunity for family doctors to use data to learn about their individual and collective workloads and complexity of diseases, and begin to build strategies.

HDC signed an adaptor development agreement with Intrahealth and Telus in 2018 to expand the original application, which previously allowed sharing only by Medical Office Information System (MOIS) and OSCAR users. The Intrahealth adaptor has gone live and WELL Health has signed an agreement to ensure continuity for OSCAR EMR users. Now that all adaptors are complete, the majority of primary care physicians across the province can access HDC Discover.

Contributing data to HDC is a sign of a doctor’s professional commitment to improving clinical practice improvement and providing valuable data for the overall goal of resource planning. Pressures to improve the quality of services delivered to patients are increasing, and these pressures underscore the need for physicians and organizations to engage in measurable quality improvement processes. Using insights from the data results in a professionally satisfying practice and leads to improved patient outcomes. Physicians can access this data through a secure, simple-to-use program that maintains patient and provider confidentiality.

The application was recently certified by the Privacy by Design framework. This project is supported and funded by the General Practice Services Committee, a partnership of Doctors of BC and the Ministry of Health. HDC was established in April 2016 through a merger of two previous initiatives, Aggregated Metrics for Clinical Analytics and Research and the Physician’s Data Collaborative, to support a network of physicians for the collaborative use of clinical data. Learn more about HDC and enroll at

. Health data coalition expands data-sharing application. BCMJ, Vol. 62, No. 5, June, 2020, Page(s) 177-178 - News.

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