The computerisation of primary care medical records at the Catalan Health Institute (ICS) began at the end of the 1990s and has been practically complete since 2005. Currently, almost all visits are computerised using the eCAP programme and paper records have disappeared.
The possible use of the potential of electronic medical records for research led the l'IDIAPJGol to create the XIIAP, the Computerised Network for Research in PC, at the beginning of 2000, in the light of other European experiences such as the “Practice based research networks”. During these years, we were able to participate in the European eHID project (Electronic Medical Records for Health Indicator Date), led by the University of Nottingham, which allowed us to learn more about the various existing experiences in Europe, the difficulties inherent in this type of project and to have a broader vision of this type of registry and its potential.
However, the diversity of existing ICS computer systems made its development difficult.
Subsequently, in 2007, the IDIAPJGol launched a new initiative by creating the UNIDAP (PC Computer Data Unit). The computerisation of the ICS PC was completed, all the various computer systems had been transferred to the eCAP, and the Girona USR was also carrying out a series of studies based on the electronic health record, joining this new initiative. This allowed the development of the REGIPREV (Registry of preventive activities in Spain) and EMMA (Atherosclerotic Disease Monitoring Study) projects during these years.
But during the month of December 2009, a new opportunity arose with the creation of an alliance between the SISAP (Information System of Primary Care Services) of the ICS, the IDIAPJGol and the Research Support Unit of Girona. This alliance allows the convergence of a series of expertise types and interests that make it possible to solve the existing problems and create a new, much more robust experience. And so, studying the existing experiences in Europe (GPRD, QRESEARCH, PHARMO, THIN, etc.), the SIDIAP, the Information System for the Development of Research in Primary Care, was created in January 2010.
With the SIDIAP it is possible to perform different types of epidemiological studies, including:
- Measurement of health/disease frequency: incidence, prevalence, exposure
- Geographical distribution
- Determinants of disease (risk factors, prognosis)
- Evaluation of interventions
- Drugs (pharmacoepidemiology):
a. Drug use
b. Evaluation of medical prescription
c. Effects: effectiveness, adverse effects, unexpected effects