First free-to-publish and free-full-text online volume completed

Simon de Lusignan

University of Surrey, Guildford, UK

Editor-in-Chief Informatics in Primary Care

Copyright © 2014 The Author(s). Published by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT under Creative Commons license


The first completely free-to-publish and free-full-text issue of Informatics in Primary Care is now online. The journal can be accessed at Informatics in Primary Care is a peer-reviewed journal besides being the house journal of BCS Health1. It is supported as part of the BCS charitable mission which includes promoting new thinking, education, sharing knowledge, promoting professional practice and the setting and implementation of standards. This is very much something that an academic journal can support. The journal is broadening its scope and looking to attract papers about how informatics can impact on frontline health and social care – across the breadth of health informatics. Please consider registering with the journal; we accept a wide range of scientific publications from pure research to articles on policy, and short communications or letters about issues of the day.


The first John Bryden memorial lecture ‘Improving health with the community health index (CHI) and developments in record linkage’ was given at the European Federation for Medical Informatics conference in Budapest earlier this year.2 Fittingly the lecture was given by Prof. Frank Sullivan, a fellow Scott, who has managed to do much high-quality research utilising the linkage between records achieved through the implementation of the CHI.3


This journal has been one of the first to publish papers on the use of video to observe the clinician–patient interaction. These have included technical advances that include the first reported use of multichannel video to observe the consultation,4 then lower cost alternatives.5 We have also published papers describing the development of theoretical approaches to how IT is used in the consultation. These include recognition that the computer and patient largely had to be interacted with separately in the consultation;6 and more recently the use of Goffman’s dramaturgical framework to theorise the interactions.7 A dramaturgical approach is one where the observer takes the perspective of directors observing what goes on in the drama of everyday life. Asan and Montague’s paper In this issue highlights important methodological considerations and provides practical guidance for future studies.8

Pearce et al. report, perhaps in one sense unsurprisingly, that local support for computerised medical record system implementations is critical.9 Hopefully, lessons were learnt from the difficulties of an attempted top-down implementation in England,10 and supported by the recognition of the importance of a local champion in Canada.11


The final three papers In this issue make use of data from multiple sources. They illustrate the number of sources of data that are within the scope of health informatics.

• Monyarit et al. compared the use of electronic data capture (EDC) with voiced questionnaire (QNN). The overwhelming majority (>90%) of community health volunteers much preferred EDC to voice questionnaires.12

• Liaw et al. continue to develop thinking about how to manage data quality. Liaw’s publications within the pages of this journal have focussed on other aspects of how to improve our ability to get the most out of routine health data. Previous papers have explored the following: creating ontologies13 and conceptualising an information ecosystem.14 This paper sets out how information governance and integrated data quality management need to be brought as close together as possible, if organisations are going to improve their health care delivery.15 Ontological approaches to the management of data need to be an integral part of health care management and population health management, rather than simply an activity of the informatics community.

• Jamoulle et al. remind us that much can be lost in translation. Jamoulle has also contributed to the pages of this journal and has previously stressed the importance of terminology management and that coding systems should carry textual definitions.16 This article illustrates how meaning can be lost between languages.17 This is potentially another area of terminology management, which may be critically important when more and more projects are coming on stream that seek to identify and then to link different European data sources.18


Our first fully on-line volume ends with an issue with interesting papers from across the spectrum of health informatics. Happy, online, reading.


The Editor-in-Chief would like to thank the section editors, editorial board, peer reviewers and editorial office team who have made this all possible, and the support from the wider BCS as well as BCS Health. The section editors, editorial board and peer reviewers who contributed to this issue are listed in Appendix A.


1. BCS Health. URL:

2. Sullivan F. The John Bryden memorial lecture: improving health with the community health index and developments in record linkage. Informatics in Primary Care 2014;21(4):156–60.

3. Sullivan FM, McEwan N and Murphy G. Regional repositories, reintermediation and the new GMS contract: cardiovascular disease in Tayside. Informatics in Primary Care 2003;11(4):215–21.

4. Theadom A, de Lusignan S, Wilson E and Chan T. Using three-channel video to evaluate the impact of the use of the computer on the patient-centredness of the general practice consultation. Informatics in Primary Care 2003;11(3):149–56.

5. Sheeler I, Koczan P, Wallage W and de Lusignan S. Low-cost three-channel video for assessment of the clinical consultation. Informatics in Primary Care 2007;15(1):25–31.

6. Booth N, Robinson P and Kohannejad J. Identification of high-quality consultation practice in primary care: the effects of computer use on doctor–patient rapport. Informatics in Primary Care 2004;12(2):75–83.

7. Pearce C, Dwan K, Arnold M and Phillips C. Analysing the doctor–patient–computer relationship: the use of video data. Informatics in Primary Care 2006;14(4):221–6.

8. Asan O and Montague E. Using video-based observation research methods in primary care health encounters to evaluate complex interactions. Informatics in Primary Care 2014;21(4):161–70.

9. Pearce C, Bartlett J, McLeod A, Eustace P, Amos R and Shearer M. Effectiveness of local support for the adoption of a national programme – a descriptive study. Informatics in Primary Care 2014;21(4):171–8.

10. Cresswell K, Morrison Z, Crowe S, Robertson A and Sheikh A. Anything but engaged: user involvement in the context of a national electronic health record implementation. Informatics in Primary Care 2011;19(4):191–206.

11. Gagnon MP, Desmartis M, Labrecque M, Légaré F, Lamothe L, Fortin JP et al. Implementation of an electronic medical record in family practice: a case study. Informatics in Primary Care 2010;18(1):31–40.

12. Monyarit S, Pan-ngum W, Lawpoolsri S, Yimsamran S, Pongnumkul S, Kaewkungwal J et al. Advantages of using voiced questionnaire and image capture application for data collection from a minority group in rural areas along the Thailand–Myanmar border. Informatics in Primary Care 2014;21(4):179–88.

13. de Lusignan S, Liaw ST, Michalakidis G and Jones S. Defining datasets and creating data dictionaries for quality improvement and research in chronic disease using routinely collected data: an ontology-driven approach. Informatics in Primary Care 2011;19(3):127–34.

14. Liyanage H, Liaw ST and de Lusignan S. Accelerating the development of an information ecosystem in health care, by stimulating the growth of safe intermediate processing of health information (IPHI). Informatics in Primary Care 2012;20(2):81–6.

15. Liaw ST, Pearce C, Liyanage H, Cheah-Liaw GSS and de Lusignan S. An integrated organisation-wide data quality management and information governance framework: theoretical underpinnings. Informatics in Primary Care 2014;21(4):199–206.

16. Roumier J, Jamoulle M, Stichele RV, Romary L and Cardillo E. Towards a terminologies support system in primary care. Informatics in Primary Care 2011;19(4):257–8.

17. Jamoulle M, Cardillob E, Roumier J, Warnier M and Stichele RV. Mapping French terms in a Belgian guideline on heart failure to international classifications and nomenclatures: the devil is in the detail. Informatics in Primary Care 2014;21(4):189–98.

18. Leppenwell E, de Lusignan S, Vicente MT, Michalakidis G, Krause P, Thompson S et al. Developing a survey instrument to assess the readiness of primary care data, genetic and disease registries to conduct linked research: TRANSFoRm International Research Readiness (TIRRE) survey instrument. Informatics in Primary Care 2012;20(3):207–16.


Acknowledgement of peer reviewers’ contributions to Informatics in Primary Care

The following have reviewed one or more articles in this volume of Informatics in Primary Care

David Barrett, University of Hull, UK

Carol Bond, Bournemouth University, UK

Tom Chan, University of Surrey, UK

John Eastwood, Community Paediatrics, SWSLHD, Australia

Filipa Ferreira, University of Surrey, UK

Toto Gronlund, Health and Social Care Information Centre, UK

Ian Herbert, BCS Health Executive; Committee member, BCS Primary Healthcare Specialist Group; Director, S I Herbert & Associate Ltd, UK

Pushpa Kumarapeli, Kingston University London, UK

Siaw-Teng Liaw, UNSW, Australia

Harshana Liyanage, University of Surrey, UK

Sanju Mathew, Clinical Informatics Group, University of Surrey; Clinician, Frimley Park Hospital, UK

Andrew McGovern, University of Surrey, UK

Chris Mimnagh, Co-Director Clinical Strategy Liverpool Health Partners; GP Wingate Medical Centre, UK

Freda Elizabeth Mold, University of Surrey, UK

Don O’Mahony, Family Physician, Department of Health, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Christopher Pearce, Inner East Melbourne Medicare Local and Monash University, Australia

Samuel Seidu, Leicester General Hospital, UK

Nicola Shaw, Algoma University & The Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Canada

Aumran Tahir, University of Surrey; Director AT Medics, UK

Jeremy van Vlymen, University of Surrey, UK

Zalihe Yarkiner, Kingston University, UK

This page publicly acknowledged their contribution to the Journal

Simon de Lusignan

Professor of Primary Care & Clinical Informatics



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