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 healthcare 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
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. You can read about the goals here.
A number of projects are being developed by the BC SUPPORT Unit and its partners as part of the Data Plan. These projects aim to make things easier for researchers to access and use data across the whole research process as the figure above shows.
Find out more about our current projects here.
Health Data Platform (HDP) Initiative
The Ministry of Health and the BC SUPPORT Unit are collaborating on the development of the Health Data Platform Initiative (HDP) and other health sector partners are contributing to its components. The HDP, which is being led by the Ministry of Health, will be a data sharing environment for the BC health sector to support cross organization research and analytics. Read more about the HDP here.
The BC SUPPORT Unit is working with many partners to achieve the Data Plan’s goals and objectives:
- BC Ministry of Health
- Population Data BC (PopData)
- Clinical and Systems Transformation (CST) Analytics
- Island Health
- Provincial Health Services Authority/BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute (formerly the Child and Family Research Institute)
- Patient Centred Measurement
- Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation (C2E2)
- Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences (CHÉOS)