Other Ministry of Health Databases PDF Print E-mail

There are many databases and health information registries held by the Ministry of Health or health authorities. Some of this information is available to researchers through Population Data BC, which is a BC agency that assists researchers in getting research information in a way that protects individual privacy.

Many hospitals and health authorities maintain clinical information systems which contain detailed patient information. Some examples include:

  • The Primary Access Regional Information System (PARIS) is an electronic health records system at Vancouver Coastal Health Authority used for community-based programs. It is accessed by staff and contractors involved in the delivery of a wide range of health services outside of acute care hospitals. These health services include such things as a newborn hotline, home support for seniors, detox services, and communicable disease control. The personal information contained includes diagnoses as well as the case notes of physicians, nurses and counsellors about the treatment they provide to their clients.
  • the Discharge Abstract Database (which keeps a record of all hospital discharges by hospital file number but not by the person’s name) 
  • The Continuing Care Information Management System which keeps a list of clients waiting for placement or receiving care from one or more continuing care services; keeps a file of agencies, companies, and health units/authorities who provide services to continuing care clients. This system is used to provide reports to support planning, monitoring, funding and management activities by both the health authorities and Ministry of Health and Ministry Responsible for Seniors; and to calculate and generate payments for provider claims.
  • The Enterprise Master Patient Index is a Ministry of Health Services database that contains demographic information and personal health numbers of all clients of the publicly funded health system in BC. 

The privacy officers of your local health authority may be able to answer your questions about the systems in use in your local health authority.  Click here for a list of the privacy officers of the health authorities in BC.

The Ministry of Health Services holds a wide variety of personal information, in a number of different databases.  For information about the Ministry of Health Services, click here.  More information about BC's E-health plans may be available here.

There is more information about VCH's PARIS system and about the privacy issues that arise with large databases in the  investigation report of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of BC about Vancouver Coastal Health Authority's PARIS Database.