Infections in Oxfordshire Research Database

The Infections in Oxfordshire Research Database (IORD) is a major component of the Infection Theme, with close links to a large UK Clinical Research Consortium (lead locally by PIs Professors Derrick Crook & Tim Peto) in collaboration with the Health Protection Agency and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. A patient-centred data store covering about 1% of England, it includes data on infection, microbial isolation, hospitalisation and illness severity.

The goals of IORD are as follows:

1. To improve the management of infection in UK hospitals.

2. To use routinely recorded electronic data on hospital administration records (eg admissions/discharges and ward movements) and results of microbiology, virology and other laboratory tests, following anonymisation, in order to investigate:
(a) trends in incidence of different bugs in Oxfordshire, within and outside the hospital: are new bugs starting to cause problems?
(b) predictors of infection with different bugs: what increases the risk of developing infections?
(c) severity of infection with different bugs, including adverse outcomes: are some infections becoming more or less serious?

3. To use this data together with research data from detailed studies (eg gene strain typing, diagnostics), to understand more fully how and why particular strains of a bug become more dangerous (or “virulent”).

Data sources

IORD includes completely anonymised information from two different sources;

1. Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust Safety System (OUH PSS). This is an NHS database used for clinical service, it includes the patient administration system (PAS), pathology (microbiology, virology, laboratory), and infection control (ICE) databases. The PAS data is from both the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust and the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre NHS Trust (NOC).

2. Research data generated through activities of the Infection Theme of the Oxford NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Oxford.

What does anonymised mean?

Within the 2 different data sources individuals are identified by hospital numbers, and samples (and bugs!) by laboratory identifiers. Every day data is taken from these sources, and the personal identifiers are removed and replaced with a single identifier, such as “8619744”. No names or addresses, hospital or NHS numbers are therefore used or stored in IORD.

If you have any concerns regarding your data or your relatives’ data being used for research please email dona.foster [at] ndm.ox.ac.uk  to discuss this with a member of the team.

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