UTOPIAN Data Safe Haven
It is widely recognized that Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) enable family physicians and their teams to provide patients with the care they need. They are potentially a comprehensive lifelong record of a patient’s health and the treatment they receive. As a consequence, the data that are currently stored across many practices, if extracted, stored and made accessible in a secure and confidential manner, have the potential to be the single largest, richest and most consistently recorded source of clinical data at the individual patient level.
The value of these data is further increased when linked to other clinical, administrative and research data sources. EMR data could be used to provide additional support to the following areas as well as research: provincial and national policy, planning and evaluation; audit, benchmarking, peer review among practices and other QI activities; and intelligence to support treatment/care provision e.g. using risk prediction to target anticipatory care. Developing a safe haven for EMR data from practices affiliated with the Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM), University of Toronto – UTOPIAN (University of Toronto Practice-Based Research Network) is an early priority for the network’s infrastructure development.