Most of primary and secondary care use the CHI number as the patient identifier; however, if data do not have CHI numbers, these can be allocated from patient demographic details, such as name, date of birth and postcode. MEMO can identify the correct CHI number for a very high proportion of patients in the database. This is the same method as is employed to allocate CHI numbers to prescription data. MEMO has constructed a database of 100 000 endoscopy and colonoscopy procedures, and, in collaboration with Tayside Police, subjects involved in 22 000 road traffic accidents in Tayside using this allocation procedure.
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