Protecting the privacy of individual general practice patient electronic records for geospatial epidemiology research

Soumya MAZUMDAR, Paul Konings, Nasser Bagheri, Ian McRae, Peter Fante

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

General practitioner (GP) practices in Australia are increasingly storing patient information in electronic databases. These practice databases can be accessed by clinical audit software to generate reports that inform clinical or population health decision making and public health surveillance. Many audit software applications also have the capacity to generate de-identified patient unit record data. However, the de-identified nature of the extracted data means that these records often lack geographic information. Without spatial references, it is impossible to build maps reflecting the spatial distribution of patients with particular conditions and needs. Links to socioeconomic, demographic, environmental or other geographically based information are also not possible. In some cases, relatively coarse geographies such as postcode are available, but these are of limited use and researchers cannot undertake precision spatial analyses such as calculating travel times
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548-552
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Volume38
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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