Dear Colleagues:

Established to enable quality improvement in primary care and support a learning health system, the Health Data Coalition (HDC) was formed with the support of BC’s General Practices Services Committee and the Doctors of BC.

With a $1.7 million grant from GPSC and the initial technology in place, the HDC has become an operational entity. It is a federally-registered not for profit society, governed by physicians to work for physicians and their health care partners in BC.

It has a new interim board and has hired its first Executive Director to formally establish the business operations, governance structure and liaise with board members to seamlessly integrate the HDC solution into the provincial context and beyond. Following is a short update on progress and activities.

Which EMRs can the HDC connect to? And what percentage of the market does that represent?

In October 2016, HDC went live as an EMR agnostic platform aggregating data across 3 different EMRs: OSCAR, Osler and MOIS, which represent a combined 31% of the vendor market. In November, we continued our successful conversations with Intrahealth and have an agreement in principle for the development on the Intrahealth adapter. Once the Intrahealth adapter is completed HDC’s connectivity will increase to 47% of the vendor market.

We have had discussions with Accuro, Plexia and iClinic about building their adapters, which will take HDC’s connectivity up to 74% of the vendor market in the new year. We are also in discussions with TELUS to ensure the remaining 26% of EMR users who are TELUS Health users can also have access to the HDC system.

How many physicians are signed up and have the viewer available?

HDC will engage about 300 GPs in 90 clinics with an estimated 280,000 patient records by March 2017. We are working in concert with our partners — PSP, Shared Care and Divisions — to create a critical mass of well-trained champions that we hope will spread their expertise and knowledge of how the tool can facilitate QI, support the PMH and small group peer-led learning.

We are about 30% to that target and are learning and iterating our “on the ground” engagement to make the best use of available resources, to ensure the physicians and their staff are well supported and to make the registration and training process as informative and painless as possible for the practicing physician.

How many Divisions are involved?

As of December 1, we have Prince George, Central Interior Rural, Fraser Northwest, Northern Interior Rural, Kootenay Boundary, North Shore and Chilliwack Divisions. In January, we expect North Peace, Pacific, South Island, and Surrey North Delta Divisions to become engaged.

How is the governance framework coming along, and what is the timeline for this?

Our new Executive Director, Kate Fagan Taylor, has extensive experience in public sector and nonprofit governance. Under guidance of the governance subcommittee, further details of the governance framework will be established for consideration by the HDC Board by the end of March, 2017.

What’s in place to protect physician data?

The HDC is a secure platform where physician users sign data sharing agreements to ensure physician data is completely under the physician’s control. HDC data will never be used to monitor individual physician or practice performance. The HDC also continues to work with Deloitte to finalize the Privacy by Design certification of our system.

How can I get onto the new HDC web platform?

Contact HDC Physician Engagement Lead, Cathy McGuinness at or call her at 604-307-7620; general enquiries can be sent to

Background on the Health Data Coalition

The Health Data Coalition (HDC) is a physician-led data sharing initiative funded by the General Practice Services Committee (GPSC). A collaborative and province-wide solution, the HDC was formed from an amalgamation of the knowledge, assets, and experiences gained within the Physicians Data Collaborative (PDC) and AMCARE.

The HDC supports a learning health system.  It is designed to aggregate patient level data from individual physician practices, across disparate EMRs, and use it as a feedback mechanism to support self-reflective practice for the individual physician member. We offer a flexible, accessible platform that provides HDC users access to a robust source of medical care data, while protecting provider and patient identity, and ensuring that physicians control the data sharing.

How is the HDC evolving?

More than a technical platform, the HDC is about and built on relationships. The system’s design supports learning relationships among individual physicians, the evaluation of PSP learning modules, small group peer learning, Division-led and provincial projects and BC Ministry of Health system planning and population metrics.

As EMRs get adapters in place and more physicians sign on to participate as contributors, the learning environment created by the Health Data Coalition is becoming more complex, informative and transformational.

How can stay up to date on HDC activities?

We value your perspectives as an important HDC partner. We encourage you to follow us through social media and sign up for our newsletter on our website.

Thank you for your belief that this important work can be done by physicians. We look forward to building stronger relationships with physicians and Divisions, and especially in understanding your needs to further develop our services and software tools.

Dr. Bruce Hobson, Chair, HDC Board of Directors