eHealth Centre of Excellence

Primary Care Data Sharing (PCDS)


The Primary Care Data Sharing (PCDS) project is a connecting South West Ontario (cSWO) Program Proof of Concept (POC) that was led by the eHealth Centre of Excellence, in its role as one of cSWO's Change Management and Adoption Delivery Partners and with the input and support of key stakeholders from across the province.

As part of addressing the need to share primary care data across the continuum of care, the PCDS POC enabled a sub-set of primary care data to be shared as part of Ontario’s integrated Electronic Health Records (EHRs). 

As of May 17, 2018, another digital health major milestone was achieved in south west Ontario (SWO). A subset of data from the electronic medical records (EMRs) of three Family Health Teams (FHTs) - the Centre for Family Medicine FHT in Kitchener, London FHT, and Thamesview FHT in Chatham - was integrated with eHealth Ontario’s Primary Care Clinical Data Repository (pcCDR) and is now available to a select number of authorized users through the primary care module of connecting South West Ontario (cSWO) Program’s Regional Clinical Viewer, ClinicalConnect™.

The contribution from these new FHT data sources, together with the primary care data already being contributed by McMaster FHT, marks the successful realization of the contribution scope of the PCDS POC.

From an access perspective, physicians and other health care professionals authorized to use ClinicalConnect at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) and McMaster FHT were the first to be able to access data in the primary care module. ClinicalConnect users from the other three participating FHTs now have access to this data, as well as the following health care organizations: all four Local Health Integration Networks - Home and Community Care from across SWO, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, Grand River Hospital, and KW4 Health Links. Although the POC has since completed, the data feed still continues for enabled organizations.

PCDS explores the benefit, challenges, and feasibility of sharing patients’ primary care data electronically through the Electronic Health Records. The project has helped to identify the data standards, change management approaches, and technical integration requirements that need to be in place for both sharing primary care data and demonstrating clinical value. The results of the POC have also informed the evolving provincial primary care data sharing strategy.

The PCDS project was undertaken in collaboration with eHealth Ontario, OntarioMD, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the cSWO Program. For additional information please contact