Editorials

Using clinical databases in practice

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.326.7379.2 (Published 04 January 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:2

Individualised prediction of survival for patients with cancer may be possible

  1. Nick Black, professor of health services research ([email protected])
  1. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT

    Information in practice p 29

    In the past decade clinical databases have become increasingly widely used in all industrialised countries. This has been accompanied by enhancements in their quality as a result of greater understanding of the requirements for scientific rigour and the availability of technology that can automate processes such as validity checking. Meanwhile recognition has been growing of the uses to which high quality clinical databases can be put—evaluative research, clinical audit, and managing services.1 A further but less widely recognised application is that of helping patients, together with their practitioners, to make informed decisions about their clinical management.

    An example of such an application is the use of a breast cancer database in …

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