The WCCHN database is a data warehouse of diagnostic, interventional and outcome information on patients followed at any of the five pediatric centres in the Western Canadian Children’s Heart Network. The database also serves an administrative purpose with its Procedural Referral module and Procedural Booking system.
The WCCHN database provides an efficient method of referring patients for treatment at the 2 surgical centres (Edmonton and Vancouver), as well as an accurate procedural booking system allowing for accurate reporting of important surgical and cardiac catheterization waitlist information. Diagnostic and procedural patient information also provides important information for approved research projects and quality assurance initiatives. In addition to surgical centres in Edmonton and Vancouver, patients are referred from Calgary, Saskatoon and Winnipeg.
The WCCHN database resides on an Alberta Health Services – Edmonton server with Alberta Health Services acting as Information Manager for all five inter-provincial sites. Although the data is stored within one Alberta Health Services server, each Pediatric Cardiology Clinic’s data is stored separately within the WCCHN database. Each centre is the owner of its patient’s information. Centres are unable to view data from another centre without authorization being granted for a specific patient file.
The WCCHN Database is a primary source of information for clinicians related to a pediatric cardiology patient’s health information. Only authorized clinicians involved with the child’s cardiac care will have access to health information in the WCCHN database. Access to a child’s health information will only be shared with clinicians in the event consultation is required for ongoing management of the cardiac condition. In the situation where a child is vacationing in another WCCHN centre, the child’s information can be accessed, with permission, by the local cardiologist if the child becomes ill and requires medical care at that centre.
In many clinical situations, patients are shared between centres. This occurs most often when surgery and the home centres are not the same. Referrals for pediatric cardiac surgery from Saskatchewan and Manitoba are made to the Stollery and BC Children’s Hospitals. Following the surgical procedure, the surgeon, surgical site cardiologist and referring centre cardiologist will be in close communications as they follow the progress of the child. In the case of heart transplant patients, the care of the child will be followed by a transplant cardiologist as well as the local referring cardiologist. This database will serve as a common source of information for clinicians as they make clinical decisions regarding care.
The WCCHN database serves as a source of information for future research related to pediatric cardiac care.
The WCCHN Database Steering Committee is the governing body for the database. This committee is made up of representatives from all five WCCHN centres. This committee serves as the decision-making body for updates/revisions to the database. The WCCHN Database Project Manager oversees the review of requests for multi-centre research data. All appropriate ethics approvals must accompany requests.