THIN has created a medical research database of anonymised patient records from information entered by general practices in their ViSion systems. THIN will supply anonymised data (with the identities of patients and practices fully protected) to approved researchers for drug safety and epidemiological studies. Such research will be approved by the appropriate ethics/scientific committee.
The anonymised patient data will be collected from the practice's Vision clinical system, with the help of In Practice Systems, on a regular basis without interruption to the running of the system. CSD Medical Research UK can supply non-interventional, anonymised, longitudinal patient data for UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Australia. Data for the USA will be available in the near future.
The Health Improvement Network - THIN is covered by Thomson Reuters Data Citation Index. Additional Information Services (AIS) is the division of THIN which obtains anonymised hard copy information for medical studies.
AIS liases with THIN data contributors on behalf of researchers to obtain documents which add valuable information to studies. This information can be in the form of anonymised questionnaires completed by the GP or patient, copies of patient-related correspondence, a specified intervention (e.g. a laboratory test to confirm diagnosis) or death certificates.
All documentation is depersonalised by the practice and checked by AIS to ensure anonymisation is complete before the information is supplied to the researcher.
All studies have ethical approval by NHS Multicentre Research Ethics Committees (MREC) before AIS requests are made to practices.