A new data collection project for studies of the process of diagnosis in primary care: collecting data on reasons for encounter and diagnoses in episodes of care in Europe.

Jean Karl Soler, Nicola Buono, Christos Lionis, Brendan Delaney, Heidrun Lingner, Thomas Frese

Keywords: Primary care, diagnostic research, Bayes theorem, electronic medical records, ICPC, episode of care, reason for encounter

For many years the Transition Project has been unique in collecting data on reasons for encounter (RfEs, including symptoms and complaints) and diagnoses in an episode of care (EoC) model, allowing the study of incidence and prevalence of both, and especially relationships between RfEs and episode titles.

Research questions:

1. To establish a formal collaboration led by EGPRN to re-vitalise the routine collection of practice-based data on RfE and EoCs
2. To develop and implement a data collection tool which interfaces with existing electronic medical record (EMR) systems, which can alternatively stand-alone as a basic EMR
3. To collect and analyse data on RfEs, interventions and diagnoses collected with ICPC in an EoC model, to empirically inform the epidemiology of primary care
4. To make such data available for research into the process of diagnosis and the development of diagnostic decision support systems

The steps to develop such a system and the software to analyse and publish such data will be explained, based on the prior published experiences of the authors.

A successful outcome of the presentation would be the creation of a formal collaboration between EGPRN, MIPC and partner academic and software organisations to present a formal project plan to EGPRN in the immediate future.

This proposal is expected to potentially raise the profile of EGPRN as a repository of high quality data from primary care, and a major partner in the future development of diagnostic decision support systems and learning healthcare systems in primary care.

Points for discussion:
1. Discussion of the utility of such empirical data for primary care and family practice in Europe,

2. Discussion of the utility of analysis of diagnostic data from different populations,

3. Discussion on the formalisation of such an academic collaboration.