The Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences is home to the world’s longest established and largest electronic health records databases, and the UK’s only prescribing database.
With the era of open information now underway, healthcare researchers now have access to promising new threads of knowledge - known as "big data" due to both its volume and complexity.
By bringing together data from thousands of patients and GP consultations, researchers have the ability to source the most reliable evidence for clinical and health service decision making. Several groups in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences are using big data to generate new insights into areas of primary care where there is most need. For example, through the EBM Data Lab's Open Prescribing project, raw data from the NHS on what drugs each GP prescribes has been turned into a series of easy-to-read dashboards, so any patient or health service decision maker can explore it - supporting safer, more efficient prescribing.
In addition, recent research by the department using data from 398 GP practices in England (equivalent to 2.5 million patient years of observation) showed that clinical workload for GPs in England had risen by 16% between 2007 - 2014, as well as several other important insights into patterns of GP consultations in England.
RCGP Research and Surveillance Centre
An internationally renowned source of information, analysis and interpretation of primary care data. The RSC collects and monitors data, in particular influenza, from over 500 practices across England. Data is extracted weekly from a network of GP practices, with weekly surveillance reports produced of infectious and respiratory diseases.
QResearch is a large, consolidated databased of electronic health records from over 35 million patients, with data coming from approximately 1500 general practices across England using the EMIS clinical computer system. Historical records extend back to the 1989 making it one of the largest and richest general practice databases in the world.
Clinical Practice Research Datalink
The Clinical Practice Research Datalink is an observational database of primary care electronic health records for over 35 million patients, including 10 million registered patients, enabling retrospective and prospective public health and clinical studies. Oxford University is an authorised site-license holder.
OpenPrescribing provides five years of NHS data on medicines prescribed by GPs across England with over 600 million data entries. Graphic dashboards enable practices, Clinical Commissioning Groups and regions to make prescribing safer and more cost-effective.
Short course in Big Data Epidemiology
Design, conduct and interpret epidemiological studies in large routine healthcare databases
This module introduces the particular challenges and opportunities of epidemiology in large routine health care databases, such as the Clinical Practice Research Datalink. Lectures and practical sessions will cover protocols and approvals, data management and longitudinal analysis, and interpretation of findings.
21 October 2020
A new risk model, developed by UK researchers to predict a person’s risk of being admitted to hospital and dying from Covid-19 has been published by The BMJ
30 September 2020
Women tend to be diagnosed with heart failure five years older than men, but have a better prognosis, finds research published in the European Journal of Heart Failure.
15 September 2020
Researchers have hailed a ‘fantastic’ response from more than 1,700 GP practices who have stepped forward to contribute patient data for vital COVID-19 research from the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences – tripling the amount of data available.
DPhil student Georgia Richards argues why its time for doctors to rethink the prescribing of high-dose opioids for people with chronic pain.
21 February 2020
Most people share their end of year roundup during late December when everyone is too full of cake to read. Now you’re back in the saddle, Brian McKenna, Honorary Research Fellow, presents the DataLab's roundup of everything they threw out into the world over the previous 12 months!