Electronic medical records (EMRs) are posited as a tool for improving practice, policy and research in primary healthcare. This paper describes the Deliver Primary Healthcare Information (DELPHI) Project at the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Western Ontario, focusing on its development, current status and research potential in order to share experiences with researchers in similar contexts. The project progressed through four stages: (a) participant recruitment, (b) EMR software modification and implementation, (c) database creation and (d) data quality assessment. Currently, the DELPHI database holds more than two years of high-quality, de-identified data from 10 practices, with 30,000 patients and nearly a quarter of a million encounters.
Stewart M, Thind A, Terry AL, Chevendra V, Marshall JN. Implementing and Maintaining a Researchable Database from Electronic Medical Records: A Perspective from an Academic Family Medicine Department. Healthc Policy. 2009 Nov;5(2):26-39.