Through the ORA Informatics Committee, the ORA supported the development and implementation of this research database, which is led by Dr. Jessica Widdifield. Several ORA members are co-investigators and collaborators on this initiative that will provide the first-ever centralized research-ready database of Ontario Rheumatology EMR data. This is an exciting milestone for the field of rheumatology in Ontario.

 There are key responsibilities that all physicians must understand and uphold with respect to the security and privacy of personal health information (PHI), including PHI contained within EMRs. For more information, please refer to summary resources (e.g. from CMPA and other sources), some of which are available through the ORA web site. The Privacy Office at ICES is another resource for questions you may have.

 Sharing EMR data for research purposes is permitted under certain circumstances and requires a data sharing agreement (DSA). Because of the heightened privacy standards at ICES as a “prescribed entity” in Ontario, we believe the Rheumatology EMR database at ICES provides the most secure opportunity for our rheumatology community to share their EMR data and maximize research capacity in Ontario. Doing so will also enhance the use of rheumatology EMRs to support clinical care and improve patient outcomes. As with any ICES data holding, ORA members will also be able to use the database to conduct their own quality improvement and/or health services research by working with an ICES Scientist.

 For more information about the Rheumatology EMR Database at ICES, please visit: Rheumatology EMR Database at ICES