Operational Framework

The GPRD is operated by a self-financing Division of the MCA, which is separate from the Agency's medicines regulatory functions. The Manager is directly accountable to the MCA's Chief Executive. The database is run on a nonprofit-making basis and in accordance with the terms by which it was donated to the Department. Other Divisions of the MCA that wish to access the database are subject to the same fees and access conditions as non-MCA users.

The GPRD Division's five-year vision statement is "to promote and protect public health by establishing the GPRD as the premier source of longitudinal patient data and to be recognised internationally as an innovative public sector enterprise which sets the standard in information management and customer service''. The operating model for the GPRD Division is represented diagrammatically in Figure 29.2. In summary, GPRD staff are responsible for:

* Data collection—ensuring that the data collected from contributing GPs are of appropriate quality, quantity, representativeness and timeliness. In addition, staff distribute feedback reports to GPs which inform them about the completeness of recorded data and that seek corrective action when necessary. They also liaise frequently with practice managers to provide guidance in specific data-recording issues. Additional ''value added'' services for contributors are being developed in association with GP representatives.

* Database management—implementing best practices in information management, enhancing the efficiency of operations (e.g. the introduction of electronic data capture) and compliance with relevant data protection legislation and patient confidentiality guidance.

* Provision of data access and research services to customers, which include: those who wish to have continuous access to the database for their

Figure 29.2. GPRD: operating model.

Research Services Provider

Figure 29.2. GPRD: operating model.

own research purposes; those who want ad hoc access; and those who will act as Research Service Providers by offering services to third parties. The GPRD Division has also established its own research team.

an interactive learning environment. Research services include feasibility studies, guidance with protocol development and partial or complete conduct of commissioned studies. Services will evolve in response to user feedback. Details are posted on the GPRD website.

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