Public health epidemiologists, statisticians and analysts at provincial and regional levels use PHRDW as do staff at the BCCDC Provincial Laboratory.
Subsets of themed data – or data marts – have been created to support surveillance of enteric diseases, vaccine preventable diseases, chronic diseases, respiratory diseases, environmental health conditions, sexually transmitted and blood borne infections. A data mart containing only Panorama data has also been developed to allow ad-hoc querying of other communicable diseases, including TB cases and their contacts.
The first data mart was developed in 2011, and new marts continue to be created. Data includes information collected on notifiable diseases per the provincial surveillance forms, laboratory tests, and deaths.
New data sources continue to be added as data sharing agreements are put in place.
PHRDW governance bodies approve the development of each data mart, including the type and level of access users will have.
A PHRDW User Access Request Form is available for PHSA users or through PHRDW Power Users for regional health authorities.
Data is linked using a custom person matching algorithm with match rates validated between 99.1% and 100%, depending on the subsets of records contained in the mart. This automates a traditionally very time consuming activity, freeing up analytic resources and standardizing process.
Under the PHRDW data governance model, research is not a standard purpose but can be authorized with additional approvals from source system data stewards.
The platform uses PHSA enterprise architecture standards, is built to be scalable, and has passed a provincial Privacy Impact Assessment and a Security Threat and Risk Assessment.
Both provincial and regional views of data are available, allowing health authorities to view a subset of records for clients living in or receiving services from a particular Health Authority.
It is operated by the BC Centre for Disease Control and PHSA Performance Management and Reporting under a data governance framework inclusive of all data contributors.