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RESOPRIM - Primary health Care Research Network

Research project I2/AE/207 (Research action I2)

Contract I2/AE/207 :

Duration of the contract :


Partners :

  • Scientific Institute of Public Health (Coordinator of the project)
  • Wetenschappelijke Vereniging van Vlaamse Huisartsen 
  • Société Scientifique de Médecine Générale 
  • Université Catholique de Louvain 

Description :

1 Mission
The project aims at developing an electronic reference network providing a stable test framework for exploiting the whole chain of information in the sector of primary health care. Data will be collected on an individual basis, starting from the GPs' files in the field, the data will be anonymised (or pseudonymised) and validated. Through feedback and benchmarking GPs will benefit from these data. The various scientific research institutes will be able to exploit the data, under the practitioners' control. It will then be possible to disseminate some of these data, after aggregation, in order to improve the overall information about the health care system. These aggregated data will be available to any health actor, decision-maker, research centre or to the whole population.

2 Objectives and methods
The project will assess the practical usefulness of such a network and will fix its specific fields of application (a network for what?). Three main scientific fields will be investigated: quality of care, epidemiology, health economics.
The project will also study the structure and the optimal organisation of such a network ("How to function, with which data?"). A special attention will be paid to the assessment of the quality of the health data management system. It will conceive and implement a strategy for improving the availability and reliability of data within the electronic patient files. It will organise training for the GPs. It will collect the data required for the various analyses. The technical aspects and the implementation of the network (overall organisation), together with the management and the flow of data will be taken into account.
The project will ensure the feedback to the users and will develop a sustainable valorisation for the aggregated data, thanks to an insertion into a larger health information system.
The working method includes: preliminary analysis, definition of the overall framework sustained by specific analyses, use of the pilot network, assessment of the network. The research will be carried out through one or two themes defined in the course of the project.

The project is divided into 2 phases.

The first phase (2003 – 2005) will define the framework which is required for developing a network for useful and realistic purposes. (How to organise it? Possibilities and limitations of exploitation of the collected data?...). Some specific data collection will be organised for answering specific questions, in order to support this activity.
The second phase (2005 – 2007) will set up the pilot network (about a hundred GPs), will validate the test framework through specific research activities, will disseminate the results, will issue recommendations for sustaining the development of other networks. Such recommendations will concern the scope of sustainable analyses, as well as the management and the organisation of networks. At the end, the identification of new focused themes will ensure the survival of the pilot network in the long run.
In order to carry out this project, a partnership has been set up between the Scientific Institute of Public Health (IPH), two scientific GPs' associations (SSMG & WVVH) and the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL). Furthermore, results from previous projects carried out by the same 4 partners or by others and funded by various public health authorities will be used. The four partners are potential users of the network. GPs in the field and private companies managing the files used by GPs will also be closely associated to the project, through ad hoc structures.

3 Technological options
Technological options will more specifically concern the organisation and the functioning of the network. The project will favour integration within existing systems (software's for managing medical files, systems for disseminating aggregated data) and emerging standards (formats for messages, etc.). A technological watch will be ensured, for instance the use of secured WEB technologies for feedback functions, or PDA technologies (or other) for encoding data at the patient's home. A particular attention will be devoted to the acceptability of the choices for the users, in order to guarantee the effective use of the network.

- Contact person (project's coordinator):

Scientific institute of Public Health (WIV-ISP) – Epidemiology Unit
Viviane Van Casteren
rue Juliette Wytsman 14 / Juliette Wytsmanstraat
1050 Bruxelles / Brussel
Tel: 02 642 50 30
Fax: 02 642 54 10


Coordinator Scientific institute of Public Health (WIV-ISP) – Epidemiology Unit

Partner 1 Wetenschappelijke Vereniging van Vlaamse Huisartsen (WVVH)

Partner 2 Société Scientifique de Médecine Générale (SSMG)

Partner 3 Université Catholique de Louvain – Socio- Economie de la Santé – Ecole de Santé Publique (UCL – SESA)

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