How does OPC Collect data?

OPC Global uses data extraction tools, which remotely identifies, extracts and securely transmits data from within primary care clinical information systems.

What data does OPC collect?

OPC collects primary care data recorded in the clinical systems used by primary care providers. Recorded from patients’ birth, these data include details on symptoms, tests and result, diagnoses, referral process, prescribed therapy and its outcomes as well as many other aspects of care. Following the initial extraction, the data are collected incrementally every month, allowing development of a longitudinal database in which patients can be tracked over time.

How is OPCRD data accessed and governed?

Any research project conducted on OPCRD data needs to be reviewed and ethically approved by the Anonymous Data Ethics Protocols and Transparency (ADEPT) committee, an independent body of experts and regulators commissioned by the Respiratory Effectiveness Group (REG).

The committee comprises scientists with statistical and epidemiological experience, members with specific OPCRD-related expertise, independent clinical experts and lay members adhering to UK standards. ADEPT committee reviews applicant study protocols for scientific quality. If requested, OPC Global can support applicants with the development and submission of their applications.

Individuals or research groups interested in conducting a study using data from the OPCRD must gain approval from the ADEPT committee who will be responsible for reviewing applicant study protocols for scientific quality.

OPC Global provides additional resource for making or assisting with such applications on the customer’s behalf, if requested.

How does OPC data remain anonymous?

Patient level data is de-identified ‘at source’. The patients’ personal identifiers such as name, date of birth and street address are not extracted by the data extraction tools and remain at the GP practice. Data transferred and held in OPCRD is fully anonymous.

How does OPC deal with patient consent?

OPC Global respects patients’ requests to opt-out of data sharing. Options available in the GP EHR system allow for selection of an individual patient and for that patient to be flagged as opting out of the data sharing and OPCRD extraction. If this option is selected, the patient’s data will not be extracted by OPCRD for research or for data linkage. OPCRD also reviews and respects clinical codes that flag patient objections to their data being used for various purposes by not collecting this data.

How long does an ADEPT data access application take?

The ADEPT approval process is relatively fast and normally requires 4 weeks, but is often completed within 2 weeks.

How do I submit an application

All applicants requiring access and/or use of anonymised data from the OPCRD need to apply to the ADEPT Committee (http://effectivenessevaluation.org/adept-committee).
The completed application form needs to be accompanied by the following:

  • Protocol (if applicable)
  • Ethics/Regulatory approvals (if applicable)
  • Data specification/requirements
  • ADEPT Application fees (application processing fees)

To submit your data request, please click here.

What does OPC Global do?

OPC Global is responsible for all the aspects of management of OPCRD. OPC Global is entitled to provide anonymised OPCRD data to the interested organisations for research, quality improvement and other purposes.

Where does OPCRD take the data from?

OPCRD can access data from a wide range of sources including:

  • National Prescribing Data
  • Electronic Medical Records
  • Questionnaire Data Collection
  • Clinical Review Data Collection
  • Secondary Care: Hospital Episode Statistics
  • Bespoke Data Linkage Registries
  • Clinical Trials/Intervention Programs: Outcome data
Where does OPCRD hold the data?

The data collected from general practices are held within a relational SQL database in 6 raw files (patient, clinical, referral, therapy, practice and questionnaire).

Are clinicians and patients involved?

Yes, they are. Patient data are recorded with the consent of the patient. Clinicians make their decisions on sharing data collected in their practices with OPC Global.

Both patients and GPs may benefit from the clinical review services (asthma clinics, patient and practice level reporting etc.) provided by OPC Global.

Where do I get more information?

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact one of our representatives on:

If you would like to submit a data request form, please submit here <Insert link>

What are the costs?