The computerization of the Primary Care medical records of the Catalan Health Institute (CHI) began in the late 90s and was complete in 2005. Currently all visits are recorded electronically through a piece of software called eCAP, and paper version of records have disappeared.
The possibility of utilising the potential of electronic medical records for research purposes prompted the Jordi Gol Foundation early in 2000 to create the XIIAP, the Primary Care Research Informatics Network, similar to other European initiatives. During these years this has made possible the participation in the European eHID project (Electronic Medical Records for Health Indicator Date) led by the University of Nottingham, which allowed us to become better acquainted with various new European projects and the difficulties inherent in this type of project, and to have a wider knowledge of the methods used for e-records-based research, and its potential. But the diversity of informatics systems in the CHI made its development difficult.
Later, in 2007, the Jordi Gol Primary Care Research Institute put into operation a new program, creating the UNIDAP (Primary Care Electronic Data Unit ). The computerization of the CHI Primary Care was completed, all the diverse informatics systems had migrated to the eCAP, and the Girona Research Support Units were also carrying out a series of studies based on electronic medical records. This made possible the development of the REGIPREV (Register of Preventive Action in Spain) and EMMA (Study of Monitoring of Atherosclerosis) projects during these years.
But in December 2009 there came a new opportunity, and an alliance was created among the SISAP (Primary Care Services Information System) of the CHI, the Jordi Gol Primary Care Research Institute (IDIAP) and the Girona Research Support Unit (USR). This alliance brought together a series of investigations and common interests that have allowed the creation of a new and much stronger research database. And so, after studying existing databases in Europe (GPRD, QRESEARCH, Pharma, THIN, etc.), they launched, in January 2010, SIDIAP, the Information System for the Development of Primary Care Research.