How can the research potential of the clinical quality databases be maximized? The Danish experience

J Intern Med. 2016 Feb;279(2):132-40. doi: 10.1111/joim.12437.


In Denmark, the need for monitoring of clinical quality and patient safety with feedback to the clinical, administrative and political systems has resulted in the establishment of a network of more than 60 publicly financed nationwide clinical quality databases. Although primarily devoted to monitoring and improving quality of care, the potential of these databases as data sources in clinical research is increasingly being recognized. In this review, we describe these databases focusing on their use as data sources for clinical research, including their strengths and weaknesses as well as future concerns and opportunities. The research potential of the clinical quality databases is substantial but has so far only been explored to a limited extent. Efforts related to technical, legal and financial challenges are needed in order to take full advantage of this potential.

Keywords: Clinical quality; databases; registry-based; research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research / economics
  • Biomedical Research / standards*
  • Databases, Factual / economics
  • Databases, Factual / standards*
  • Denmark
  • Humans
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized
  • Quality of Health Care / economics
  • Quality of Health Care / standards*
  • Reproducibility of Results