iPSYcare: the development of a linked electronic medical records database to study and optimize psychiatric care in Antwerp

Eva Rens, Joris Michielsen, Geert Dom, Roy Remmen, Kris Van den Broeck

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Objective The study of care trajectories of psychiatric patients across hospitals was previously not possible in Belgium as each hospital stores its data autonomously, and government-related registrations do not contain a unique identifier or are incomplete. A new longitudinal database called iPSYcare (Improved Psychiatric Care and Research) was therefore constructed in 2021, and links the electronic medical records of patients in psychiatric units of eight hospitals in the Antwerp Province, Belgium. The database provides a wide range of information on patients, care trajectories and delivered care in the region. In a first phase, the database will only contain information about adult patients who were admitted to a hospital or treated by an outreach team and who gave explicit consent. In the future, the database may be expanded to other regions and additional data on outpatient care may be added. Results IPSYcare is a close collaboration between the University of Antwerp and hospitals in the province of Antwerp. This paper describes the development of the database, how privacy and ethical issues will be handled, and how the governance of the database will be organized.

Original languageEnglish
Article number377
JournalBMC Research Notes
Issue number1
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Psychiatry
  • Care trajectories
  • Hospital data
  • Mental health
  • Data registry

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