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The Oxford-Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Research and Surveillance Centre (RSC) is one of Europe's oldest sentinel systems, providing sentinel surveillance since 1967. We report the interdisciplinary informatics required to run such a system. We used the Donabedian framework to describe the interdisciplinary informatics roles that support the structures, processes and outcomes of the RSC. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic University, RCGP, information technology specialists, SQL developers, analysts, practice liaison team, network member primary care providers, and their registered patients have nearly quadrupled the size of the RSC from working with 5 million to 19 million peoples pseudonymised health data. We have produced outputs used by the UK Health Security Agency to describe the epidemiology of COVID-19 and report vaccine effectiveness. We have also supported a trial of community-based therapies for COVID-19 and other observational studies. The home of the primary care sentinel surveillance network is with a clinical informatics research group. Interdisciplinary informatics teamwork was required to support primary care sentinel surveillance; such teams can accelerate the scale, scope and digital maturity of surveillance systems as demonstrated by the RSC across the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original publication




Journal article


Studies in health technology and informatics

Publication Date





137 - 141