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Electronic Health Records

Information from electronic health records (EHR) has been extensively used in health and biomedical research in Scotland. It has enabled the development of novel approaches to life course epidemiology, cost-effective evaluations of large-scale health service and public health interventions, efficient long-term follow-up of clinical trials, and important work in pharmaco-epidemiology and a wide range of clinical research areas.

Key Benefits:

  • Integrated data sets
  • Electronic healthcare record system covering the whole population
  • Complete integration of Scottish Morbidity Record (SMR) codes and Scottish Care Information
  • Strong, robust governance framework
  • Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI) records
  • A wealth of anonymised images that can be used to support research.

The Community Health Index (CHI) Number
Key to linking each person’s distinct health records in Scotland

All health-related activities, from prescriptions and tests to surgical procedures and dental appointments are electronically recorded in Scotland. Such a wealth of data – all linked to the patient but rigorously anonymised – is revealing important patterns of health and disease and providing an important research asset.

The vision

For Scotland to set an international standard for the safe and secure use of Electronic Health Records and other routinely collected population-based data for research purposes including:

  • Enabling electronic linkage of healthcare information to enhance study phenotypic information
  • Conduct of feasibility assessments
  • Cost effective mechanism of enhancing scientific value of clinical trials, cohorts, tissue samples and images
  • Long-term follow up of patient outcomes.