Information system for health care data (data transparency)

The information system for health care data (data transparency) commenced operations in February 2014. We provide aggregated health care data from the statutory health insurance funds. The data can be used in particular for analyses of the health care situation and for control tasks within the statutory health insurance.

Data for healthcare research

Health insurance funds already provide pseudonymised data to the Federal Insurance Office for morbidity-oriented risk structure compensation (Morbi-RSA). These annual data are pseudonymised by us in order to combine them over several years. The data include information on outpatient and inpatient diagnoses as well as on prescribed and deducted pharmaceutical products for patients with statutory health insurance. Until now, this information has not been available in such a complete and comprehensive form.

As a basic rule, all insurance numbers are replaced by pseudonyms. In addition, there is a legal requirement for further strict data protection measures. Therefore we will assure that individual insurance members cannot be identified from data made available by us.

Law to regulate data use

The German Social Security Code (§§303a to 303e SGB V) regulates which institutions are allowed to analyse data for which purpose. The group specified by law includes certain institutions of health insurance funds, the Federal Joint Committee G-BA, representations of patients and service providers on a national/federal level as well as institutions for research and healthcare reporting. The data can be used for instance to help them to improve healthcare quality or to plan healthcare provisions.

The information system is funded by the statutory health insurance funds. User fees are charged to compensate for some of their costs.

Putting the system into place

With the ordinance on transparent health data (Datentransparenzverordnung), DIMDI was given the task of putting the health care data information system (data transparency) into place. The required building works in our data processing centre have been completed. The required hardware and software has been purchased, installed and configured. The organisational structures of the completely separate trust centre and data processing centre have been created. The personnel recruitment process is complete. Health care data for the adjustment years 2009-2016 have been received by the German Federal Insurance Authority (BVA). More data will subsequently be delivered every year. Necessary procedures have been set up for the processing of applications and data as well as for identity protection. Terms of rules, a fee regulation and a description of the data are available. Since the 23rd of June 2014 entitled users can apply to the data processing centre for the provision of data by the following two procedures.

Remote data processing:
Entitled users develop SQL or SAS analysis programmes for Oracle 11g R2. These programmes submitted to the data processing centre through an application process are checked by the centre. Approved analysis programmes are executed by the data processing centre. The results of the evaluation are checked and transmitted to the applicant.

Data analysis:
Entitled users formulate their queries and describe the method of analysis to be used combined with a structural definition of the result data. They pass this to the data processing centre via an application. On the basis of the query and the described method, the data processing centre develops SQL programmes that are run on original data. The results of the evaluation are checked and transmitted to the applicant.

During subsequent expansion stages, procedures for the provision of data are going to be successively augmented and expanded. For example, there will be an option of analysing pseudonymised individual data at a workstation for visiting researchers.

The DIMDI newsletter provides information about the current state of development. You are also welcome to use the contact form for any questions you may have.

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