National Institute for Health Research Health Informatics Collaborative: development of a pipeline to collate electronic clinical data for viral hepatitis research.
Smith DA., Wang T., Freeman O., Crichton C., Salih H., Matthews PC., Davies J., Várnai KA., Woods K., Jones CR., Glampson B., Mulla A., Mercuri L., Shaw AT., Drumright LN., Romão L., Ramlakan D., Higgins F., Weir A., Nastouli E., Agarwal K., Gelson W., Cooke GS., Barnes E.
OBJECTIVE: The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Informatics Collaborative (HIC) is a programme of infrastructure development across NIHR Biomedical Research Centres. The aim of the NIHR HIC is to improve the quality and availability of routinely collected data for collaborative, cross-centre research. This is demonstrated through research collaborations in selected therapeutic areas, one of which is viral hepatitis. DESIGN: The collaboration in viral hepatitis identified a rich set of datapoints, including information on clinical assessment, antiviral treatment, laboratory test results and health outcomes. Clinical data from different centres were standardised and combined to produce a research-ready dataset; this was used to generate insights regarding disease prevalence and treatment response. RESULTS: A comprehensive database has been developed for potential viral hepatitis research interests, with a corresponding data dictionary for researchers across the centres. An initial cohort of 960 patients with chronic hepatitis B infections and 1404 patients with chronic hepatitis C infections has been collected. CONCLUSION: For the first time, large prospective cohorts are being formed within National Health Service (NHS) secondary care services that will allow research questions to be rapidly addressed using real-world data. Interactions with industry partners will help to shape future research and will inform patient-stratified clinical practice. An emphasis on NHS-wide systems interoperability, and the increased utilisation of structured data solutions for electronic patient records, is improving access to data for research, service improvement and the reduction of clinical data gaps.