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Clinical Record Interactive Search

Here at Cardiff and Vale, we strongly believe in the importance of maximising the use of clinical data in order to improve patient outcomes and the services that we provide.  

We are currently working in partnership with Cardiff University to implement a system called CRIS (Clinical Record Interactive Search).

This is an innovative technological solution that allows us to safely and securely retrieve data from the UHB’s Electronic Mental Health Clinical Record system, called PARIS, de-identify it to protect patient identities and then load it in to a secure database.

This extensive database of rich, anonymised clinical information can then be used for audit, service evaluation and research purposes.

As well as providing a tool to facilitate improvements in the clinical care of mental health patients, CRIS will also help to accelerate advances in mental health research which, in turn, can translate into improved clinical outcomes through the development of new treatments and enhanced service delivery.

CRIS will advance our research capabilities by enabling us to look at up-to-date clinical information in large numbers of people.

This will make it easier to identify patterns and trends, such as what treatments work for some and don’t work for others. This will enable us to better understand the causes of physical and mental illness and how best to treat them.

In implementing CRIS, Cardiff and Vale UHB will join a number of Mental Health NHS Trusts across the UK in a network aimed at revolutionising mental health and dementia research. 


How are my details protected in CRIS? 

The CRIS software removes any information from the clinical record that might identify an individual, such as name, address and full date of birth. This process is known as de-identification. For example, your name, the name of your carer, your full date of birth, address, postcode and phone numbers are replaced with ‘ZZZZZ’. 

Once removed, CRIS loads this de-identified data into a separate and secure database. This means that an individual's clinical details can be used for research or evaluation purposes, but their personal details cannot. 

The de-identified information would appear as follows:



Who can access CRIS?

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board impose a strict process for allowing access to the CRIS database. CRIS is only available to approved researchers and clinicians who have a contract with the UHB. These 

All projects wishing to use CRIS must be reviewed and approved by the CRIS Oversight Committee and must meet the highest of standards in order for access to the database to be permitted.

All individuals approved to use CRIS will be strictly monitored. All CRIS activity will be captured on an audit log which is regularly and routinely reviewed by the Oversight Committee.

Any projects involving contact with patients will require independent approval from an NHS Research Ethics Committee. For more information on the Health Board’s approach to informing you about research you may want to be involved in, see more about Participate.

All NHS Trusts within the CRIS network are part of a National Governance Group to ensure the safe running of the system.


What if I do not want to be included?

If at any point you decide that you would prefer for your de-identified notes to not be included in CRIS, you can do so by contacting the CRIS team. You can opt out at any time without any impact to the treatment or care you receive.

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