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Table 3 Comparison between Discover and CPRD by data element and time period covered

From: How an electronic health record became a real-world research resource: comparison between London’s Whole Systems Integrated Care database and the Clinical Practice Research Datalink

ElementDiscoverCPRD GOLD
Date of first capture of primary care consultationsSince 2000 (earlier data are available but of poorer accuracy)Can be 1980s or earlier but depends on practice
Number of registered patients as of Nov 20182.3 million approx11 million (active) approx. Across the UK
Number of participating GP practices as of Nov 2018361 (out of 366 in the region)718 in England [ref Kontopantelis 2018, referring to 2017], < 1200 in the UK
Number of participating practices linked to hospital data as of Nov 2018361411 in England (75% of participating English practices) [from CPRD website]
Linkage to hospital admissionsY, all NWL-commissioned activity, inc to hospitals out of the region.Y, nationally via HES*.
Linkage to ONS mortality dataN (forthcoming)Y
Linkage to national clinical auditsNY. Bespoke and limited e.g. to MINAP; others in progress
Linkage to national registriesNY. National cancer registries and related treatment databases
Type of information
 Patient demographicsY (only GP-registered pts)Y (only GP-registered pts)
 Prescribed medicationsY (GP-prescribed plus in-hospital high-cost drugs)Y (GP-prescribed plus in-hospital high-cost drugs via HES linkage)
 Social care dataYN
 Community mental health dataYN (unless done within the GP practice)
 Ambulance activityN (coming soon)N
 StaffingY (e.g. practice and hospital)N (can be requested by practice, but with some loss of information to preserve practice anonymity)
 NHS 111N (coming soon)N
 Healthcare costs as distinct from tariffsY (commissioner prices – see Appendix for details)N
Private care and other information
 Private primary careN**N**
 Private secondary careNN
 Private social careNN
Wider determinants of health (crime, deprivation, pollution, education etc)N, but area-level deprivation scores can be linked by userY: Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) linked to practice and patient via their postcode
  1. *HES Hospital Episodes Statistics (national hospital administrative database for England)
  2. **Private primary care is still only small-scale in the UK