CamCOPS – Patient identification
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Patient identification fields

CamCOPS includes the following patient identification fields. Not all need be used.

dob     -- date of birth
sex     -- one of: M, F, X
address -- (*) (free text)
gp      -- (*) general practitioner’s details (free text)
other   -- (*) any other details required (free text)

All except those marked (*) may be selected as part of the minimum patient identification details. What counts as the minimum is configurable. Furthermore, the meaning of the ID numbers is entirely configurable.

Configuring the meaning of the ID number fields

Your institution will use one or more ID number fields. For example, in the UK NHS, every patient should have a unique nationwide NHS number. Most NHS institutions use their own ID as well, and some specialities (such as liaison psychiatry) operate in multiple hospitals. Research studies may use a local, idiosyncratic numbering system. Configure the meanings of up to 8 numbering systems (see server configuration.)

The first ID number is special in only one way: the web viewer’s drop-down ID selector will default to it. So, pick your institution’s main ID number for this slot; that will save your users some effort.

Uploading and finalizing policies

The server supports two ID policies: an upload policy – the minimum set of identifying information required to upload information to the server – and a finalizing policy – the minimum set of identifying information required for a tablet to “sign off” and transfer all its information to the server (after which the tablet app can’t edit that information).

The policies you require depend on your institution. Some examples are given below.

You can configure the policies using brackets ( ), AND, OR, and any of the fields listed above (except those marked *). Some examples are shown below.

Configure the policies by entering the command camcops on your server, and follow the prompts.

Example 1: clinical, multi-site

Suppose we have a mental health NHS Trust – call it CPFT – with its own hospitals that provides liaison psychiatry services in four other hospitals. We might use the following IDs:

ID number Description Short description
1 CPFT RiO number CPFT RiO
2 NHS number NHS
3 CPFT M number CPFT M
4 Addenbrooke’s number Add
5 Papworth number Pap
6 Hinchingbrooke number Hinch
7 Peterborough City Hosp number PCH
8 Spare_8_idnum Spare8

and these policies:

UPLOAD POLICY:   forename AND surname AND dob AND sex AND (idnum1 OR idnum2 OR idnum3 OR idnum4 OR idnum5 OR idnum6 OR idnum7)
FINALIZE POLICY: forename AND surname AND dob AND sex AND idnum1

Example 2: research

Suppose we’re operating in a very simple research context. We don’t want patient-identifiable data on our computers; we’ll operate with pseudonyms (codes for each subject). We might have a separate secure database to look up individuals from our pseudonyms, but that is outside CamCOPS. We might have the following identifiers:

ID number Description Short description
1 Research ID number RID
2 Spare_2_idnum Spare2
3 Spare_3_idnum Spare3
4 Spare_4_idnum Spare4
5 Spare_5_idnum Spare5
6 Spare_6_idnum Spare6
7 Spare_7_idnum Spare7
8 Spare_8_idnum Spare8

and these policies:

UPLOAD POLICY:   sex AND idnum1

Example 3: research hosted by a clinical institution

Suppose you’re a research group operating within a clinical institution, but collecting data (under appropriate ethics approval) for research purposes. You may want to use patient-identifiable data or pseudonyms. You will want full read access to your database (likely at the SQL level), but you shouldn’t have full read access to all patients at that institution.

There are at least two possible approaches. You could set up a new server, or you could add a second CamCOPS database to your existing server (which may well be cheaper). This is easy; see server configuration. If you add a second instance, your URLs might look like:

https://yourhost/camcops/webview  -- Main clinical viewer
https://yourhost/camcops/database -- Main clinical tablet upload URL

https://yourhost/camcops_depression_project_17/webview  -- Research project viewer
https://yourhost/camcops_depression_project_17/database -- Research project tablet upload URL

Minimum details required by the tablet software

The tablet’s internal minimum identification policy, which is fixed, is:

sex AND ( (forename AND surname AND dob) OR (idnum1 OR idnum2 OR idnum3 OR idnum4 OR idnum5 OR idnum6 OR idnum7 OR idnum8) )

This allows either a named (forename, surname, DOB, sex) or an anonymous/pseudonym-based system for research (sex plus one ID number), or any other sensible mixture as above.

About device registration

Tablets must register with a server. This serves four purposes:

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