The partnership between ASIP Santé and the French general medical service (SFMG)
DMP | 21 Jun 2010
The French general medical service (SFMG) and ASIP Santé have signed a partnership agreement which aims to structure the gathering of information from general consultations in order to develop its sharing and use.
About the SFMG
A specialist society and non-profit organization as defined under the Law of 1901, the SFMG was founded in 1973, and as of December 2009 has 1041 associate and full members – all general practitioners – throughout France.
Its aim is to promote general medicine, notably by facilitating scientific, sociological and economic research and activities, to advance primary care and ensure that family doctors are appropriately qualified. It is committed to helping improve the healthcare system.
Together with other partners, the SFMG represents France in international general medical organizations.
General medicine: the heart of local health services
The 54,000 or so independent general practitioners in France make up a network of doctors who are the first point of contact for medical services. They respond to the healthcare needs of patients of all ages suffering from both acute and chronic pathologies. They coordinate and guarantee continuity of care, in particular by providing permanent care. Unsurprisingly, 98% of general practitioners’ patients have chosen to be treated by that doctor since the concept of choice was introduced by the law of 13 August 2004 on medical insurance.
A mine of useful information
General practitioners conduct over 200 million consultations every year. This substantial volume of activity, and the diversity of the situations they handle, gives an idea of the potential wealth of information that is gathered and produced here. The SFMG and ASIP Santé have thus come together to provide context to this information, which will allow them to:
- Provide healthcare professionals authorized to view a patient’s electronic health record (DMP) with the doctor's consultation reports, organized and expressed in such a way that they are easily comprehensible and usable, even with different software packages.
For this first objective, the SFMG/ASIP Santé partnership is utilizing the SFMG's expertise in both organizing data from the general medical file and coding by means of its semiological tool, the dictionary of consultation results (DRC).
About the DRC
This is a tool created by SFMG which allows general practitioners to record the care they provide patients in real time during consultations. It contains 278 consultation results, validated by various criteria that enable the doctor to choose the most appropriate result corresponding to the situation in hand, with the highest degree of certitude. Entries may include non-specific conditions (headache, abdominal pain, fever, etc), specific conditions (chickenpox, shingles, hernia, etc), non-pathological conditions (pregnancy, menopause, etc), other social/work-related problems and vaccinations which can be incorporated into the consultation results as problems needing to be resolved (work-related problems, vaccinations, etc).
- Provide public health institutions and research bodies with a database that is substantial enough to be used in far-reaching studies aimed at visibly improving health, including collectively.
For this second objective, the SFMG/ASIP Santé agreement, underpinned by the general medical research institute (OMG), which was created in 1993 by SFMG, and relying upon ASIP Santé's expertise and project management capability, makes provision for developing the information system required for collecting and using data.
About the OMG
The OMG gathers and analyzes data recorded by a network of general practitioners. This data store essentially contains three types of data: individual patient data (biometrics, lab results, etc); treatment data entered into the DRC during consultations; and decisions made (medication, scans and biology tests prescribed, stopping work, referral to another medical or paramedical practitioner, etc). All of this helps to advance research, and the understanding of the specificities of general medicine, in a completely independent manner.
The agreement between ASIP Santé and the SFMG was signed in January 2010. During the first half of the year, selected members from these two bodies will come together in a working group. It is expected that a structured report on consultations in general medical practice will be produced, which can be integrated into the ASIP Santé interoperability framework by the autumn, and that the criteria for an observatory body for general medical practice health data will be defined, with the body to be established in 2011.