What did we do? This paper describes the creation of a population research registry as part of an information system to support primary healthcare (PHC) research in British Columbia. The population registry includes all residents of the province who were either eligible to use or actually used healthcare services, together with demographic, geographic, health status, registration and service use data. The PHC population research registry is built using administrative data inputs, and data are anonymized to comply with privacy and confidentiality standards. What did we learn? The registry provides data to undertake research into PHC needs and service utilization. It facilitates both population-based research as well as research on population subgroups. Combined with anonymous physician and utilization data, the information system can be used to study service utilization rates for population-based analyses. Over the longer term, the information will contribute to our understanding of PHC qualities and outcomes. What are the implications? Continued completeness of the population research registry depends upon full administrative source data. Planning to ensure complete data capture is critical both for the research registry and our ability to undertake population-based PHC research.

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Developing and Maintaining a Population Research Registry to Support Primary Healthcare Research