Exploring barriers and solutions in advancing cross-centre population data science

Main Article Content

Kerina H Jones Sharon M Heys Helen Daniels David V Ford
Published online: Aug 5, 2019


Introduction
It is widely acknowledged that population health and administrative data, especially when linked at the individual level, hold great value for research. Cross-centre working between data centres providing access to such data has the potential to further increase this value by effectively expanding the data available for research. However, there is limited published information on how to address the challenges and achieve success. The aim of this paper is to explore perceived barriers and solutions to inform developments in cross-centre working across data centres.


Methods
We carried out a narrative literature review on data sharing and cross centre working. We used a mixed methods approach to assess the opinions of members of the public on cross-centre data sharing, and the views and experiences of among data centre staff connected with the UK Farr Institute for Health Informatics Research.


Results
The literature review uncovered a myriad of practical and cultural issues. Our engagement with a public group suggested that cross-centre working involving anonymised data being moved between established centres is considered acceptable. The main themes emerging from discussions with data centre staff were dedicated resourcing, practical issues, information governance and culture.


Conclusion
In seeking to advance cross-centre working between data centres, we conclude that there is a need for dedicated resourcing, indicators to recognise data reuse, collaboration to solve common issues, and balancing necessary barrier removal with incentivisation. This will require on-going commitment, engagement and an academic culture change.


Abstract

Introduction
It is widely acknowledged that population health and administrative data, especially when linked at the individual level, hold great value for research. Cross-centre working between data centres providing access to such data has the potential to further increase this value by effectively expanding the data available for research. However, there is limited published information on how to address the challenges and achieve success. The aim of this paper is to explore perceived barriers and solutions to inform developments in cross-centre working across data centres.


Methods
We carried out a narrative literature review on data sharing and cross centre working. We used a mixed methods approach to assess the opinions of members of the public on cross-centre data sharing, and the views and experiences of among data centre staff connected with the UK Farr Institute for Health Informatics Research.


Results
The literature review uncovered a myriad of practical and cultural issues. Our engagement with a public group suggested that cross-centre working involving anonymised data being moved between established centres is considered acceptable. The main themes emerging from discussions with data centre staff were dedicated resourcing, practical issues, information governance and culture.


Conclusion
In seeking to advance cross-centre working between data centres, we conclude that there is a need for dedicated resourcing, indicators to recognise data reuse, collaboration to solve common issues, and balancing necessary barrier removal with incentivisation. This will require on-going commitment, engagement and an academic culture change.

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