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In light of the COVID-19 crisis, in March 2020 colleagues from NHS Lothian and the University of Edinburgh asked the DataLoch team to help in the production of a dedicated COVID-19-linked dataset. This request was motivated by a need to support immediate hospital-based service management and to provide a foundation for active and anticipated regional and national research into the outbreak.
The DataLoch team, working in collaboration with clinicians on NHS Lothian data, built a linked COVID-19 dataset for use by approved researchers on 30 April 2020.
Combined routine, testing, and manually checked clinical data
The COVID-19 dataset:
- combines data from many sources including the hospital laboratory information system, electronic patient records, Scottish morbidity records, critical care and medicine prescribing information;
- provides information on the indication for testing, symptoms (type and duration), and vulnerability to infection via a series of questions embedded in the clinical request for testing; and
- manually collected data on all COVID-19-positive patients’ hospital episodes, including initial symptoms, risk scores, comorbidities, radiology investigations, treatments, complications, outcomes and cause of death.
The rapid collection and linkage of data as part of the COVID-19 Collaborative was made possible due to the extensive efforts of an interdisciplinary team.