Definitions of common terms and acronyms

Administrative data: Information that is collected for purposes such as billing, insurance claims or record-keeping. Administrative data are not collected specifically for research purposes but can be used for some types of research. They are accessible to researchers with the original data provider’s approval. Examples of administrative data include records of payment for physician services, records of enrolment such as education data, and registries such as for vital statistics or cancer incidence. 

CDP: Canadian Data Platform. An initiative that is supporting research that includes data from multiple provincial, territorial and federal sources in Canada. This initiative is funded under CIHR’s SPOR initiative (see CIHR and SPOR). 

CIHI: Canadian Institute for Health Information. A pan-Canadian organization which provides comparable and actionable data and information that are used to accelerate improvements in health care, health system performance and population health across Canada.

CIHR: Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Canada's federal funding agency for health research.

Clinical data: Information that is collected to form a record which provides an overall picture of an individual's health. Clinical data tends to include more (and more detailed) information than administrative data. E.g. patient's height, weight, doctor’s notes about a specific visit, test results and more. 

DASH: Data Access Support Hub. The portal for researchers to request access to multi-jurisdictional data which will be launched in late 2019.

De-identification (of data): The process of removing an individual's personal information (e.g. name, personal health number, date of birth, etc.) from the data that have been collected about them. This ensures that the data cannot readily be connected back to a specific person to protect their privacy. 

Determinants of health: The broad range of personal, social, economic and environmental factors that determine individual and population health, e.g. income and social status, employment and working conditions, childhood experiences, physical environment, gender, biology and genetics and more.

EHR: Electronic Health Record. The systems that make up the secure and private lifetime record of a person's health and health care history. These systems store and share information such as lab results, medication profiles, key clinical reports (e.g., hospital discharge summaries), diagnostic images (e.g., X-rays), and immunization history.  The information is available electronically to authorized users including health care providers.

EMR: Electronic Medical Record. An office-based system that enables a health care professional, such as a family doctor, to record the information gathered during a patient's visit. This information might include a person's weight, blood pressure and clinical information.

Health data: Health data are facts and statistics that provide insights about the health, development and well-being of populations. These include information about health care services, health status, health behaviours (e.g. diet, exercise, smoking, alcohol consumption), and the context in which people live and work.

MOH: Ministry of Health, both provincially and federally.

Partner: A unit or institution that is formally working on the development of the SPOR CDP. Learn more.

Social determinants of health: A specific group of social and economic factors within the broader determinants of health. These relate to an individual's place in society, such as race, gender, income, education, immigration status or employment status.

Social data: Facts and statistics that have something to do with individuals, which relate to the social determinants of health as outlined above.

SPOR: Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research. A strategy to involve patients, caregivers and families as partners in research that tackles health challenges – including primary care, chronic diseases, and mental health – and improves health policy and the healthcare system. Learn more.