What is data and why is it important?
Data are facts that are collected and stored together to provide information or to be studied.
Data helps create knowledge from which to make important decisions about health care. Health care decisions that are made using the best possible data help to bring about improvements to the health of British Columbians and to the health care system.
British Columbia has a long history of making administrative data available for researchers to use. The BC SUPPORT Unit’s Data Plan describes how the Unit and its partners are building upon existing services with the development of new tools and services for researchers in BC to advance patient oriented research.
Data Plan Objectives and Goals
The overall data-related objectives of the BC SUPPORT Unit are improving high-quality patient-oriented research by:
- Making more and different data ready for use,
- Increasing the speed of data access and making the process to access data clearer, and
- Providing services that make data use more efficient.
The Unit also has more specific goals that describe how it plans to meet these objectives.
Data-Related Goals of the BC SUPPORT Unit
The SUPPORT Unit’s specific goals to meet its Data Plan objectives are:
- Develop technical, policy and process standards for sharing and moving health sector data;
- Improve the speed and transparency of data access for research;
- Make more data sets available;
- Provide technical support for privacy-sensitive data collection;
- Develop services that increase the efficiency and quality of data-based research;
- Provide data-related supports for patient-oriented clinical trials; and
- Learn from others and help BC become recognized as an innovative place to do research.
Health Data Platform Initiative (HDP)
The HDP is a multi-partner initiative underway to create a better way of sharing health-related data. It will make possible improved evidence from which to base important decisions about health care, public health, and the health system. The HDP is currently in the early stages of development with services for health researchers, health care providers and health system decision makers/policy makers to be introduced incrementally over the next few years.
Data Plan Projects
Recently-completed projects now available to researchers include: