iCAREdata - an extensive research database on out-of-hours primary care in Belgium

iCAREdata is a state-of-the-art database that aggregates data of out-of-hours primary healthcare services in Belgium. Currently covering a region with a population of 1.8 million people, the platform allows to analyse data and trends, and optimize the chain of care.

In 2003, the first general practitioner cooperative (Huisartsenwachtpost) was established in Antwerp. Since then out-of-hours care has rapidly evolved, but collecting valid data on patients using out-of-hours services has remained difficult.

iCAREdata (Improving Care And Research Electronic Data Trust Antwerp) was established in 2014 to routinely collect data on out-of-hours care from general practitioner cooperatives, hospital emergency departments, and most pharmacies within the Antwerp region. The database contains information on demographics, diagnosis, and prescriptions and can be consulted through a web portal.iCAREdata is fully compliant with most recent legal, ethical and privacy aspects. iCAREdata can be used for research purposes, for example to study and optimize the chain of care for patients. For example, the platform has been used in projects to study the antibiotic prescription behaviour and the efficiency of telephone triage. Research questions can be serviced on request, and a scientific advisory board provides oversight and advice on research projects.

Partners we search for

iCAREdata is looking for partners in both the delivery and consumption of data. The objective is to increase the scope of the database to include residential care centres, palliative networks, centres for mental health or other partners as data providers, and to expand the geographical range to the (inter)national level.The massive amount of available data has potential for use in research, market analysis, and optimisation of primary care. Organisations interested in iCAREdata can be provided access to aggregated data sets, or can receive reports upon request under fee-for-service conditions.

About the researchers and its partners

The Center for General Practice is part of ELIZA, the Primary and Interdisciplinary Care Research Group of UAntwerpen, and focuses on primary care infectious diseases, chronic and complex care (including care for the elderly, the vulnerable, disabled and palliative care, diabetes care), medical education, and the organisation of primary health care and large scale data linkage. The research group is a trusted third party for a range of partners in the iCAREdata project, including:

• All pharmacists working in Antwerp, affiliated with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Antwerp (KAVA)

• The emergency services of hospitals like the Antwerp University Hospital (UZA), AZ Klina, AZ Monica, Sint Dimpna, …

• The four General Practitioner Cooperatives (GPCs) of Antwerp (GPC Antwerp North, GPC Antwerp East, GPC Antwerp Center, and GPC Antwerp South)

• Wachtposten Vlaanderen, the umbrella association of all General Practitioner Cooperatives in Flanders

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More information

University of Antwerp 

Valorisation Office

Middelheimlaan 1

2020 Antwerpen - Belgium

T +32 3 265 88 69