Taiwan’s national research database and other stories . . .BMJ 2015; 351 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h5395 (Published 14 October 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5395
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The increased use of the National Health Institute Research Database (NHIRD) by the Taiwanese research community has highlighted the fundamental importance of an accurate and timely national health database in monitoring the state of a health system1. However, the NHIRD shares the common limitation of other administrative datasets in that it lacks essential clinical outcomes such as HbA1c and blood pressure measurements that are particularly pertinent to look at policy impacts on intermediate outcomes for patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes2. One way to overcome this limitation is to establish better linkage between administrative data and clinical datasets. This has been done in England, for example, through the linkage of the administrative Hospital Episode Statistics database with the much richer data in electronic primary care records. The English experience also shows that such linkages do require support from the public and patients; otherwise, they run the risk of suffering the same problems as the care.data programme experienced in England.
John Tayu Lee12
1Department of Primary Care and Public Health, School of Public Health, Imperial
College London, London, UK
2 Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore
3 Institute of Hospital and Healthcare Administration, National Yang Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
1. Taiwan’s national research database and other stories. BMJ 2015;351.
2. Hsing AW, Ioannidis JA. Nationwide population science: Lessons from the taiwan national healthinsurance research database. JAMA Internal Medicine 2015;175(9):1527-29.
Competing interests: No competing interests