Enriching knowledge and enhancing care through health data

i~HD European Network of Excellence for Hospitals


  • Create a mutual support and shared learning community of hospitals wishing to accelerate their uses of health (EHR) data for clinical research and to become better learning health systems.
  • Develop and deliver education, good practices and tools (such as data quality improvement measures) that maximise their capability to reuse their health data.
  • Develop and promote good governance practices to enable trustworthy internal and external reuse of hospital EHR data for knowledge discovery.
  • Help hospitals to optimise the ways in which they use and benefit from their EHR systems.
  • Support hospitals with demonstrating the value to themselves and to other stakeholders from good uses of their health data.


  • Geert Thienpont
  • Niels Verhavert
  • Karl Wouters, Sensus Communications

The i~HD Network of Excellence Steering Committee


The eventual goal of this network is to support all European hospitals (and, later, other care providers such as general practice) to collect health data of the highest possible quality, and to make the best use of that data internally (for patient care and for organisational quality improvement) and externally (supporting continuity of care, public health strategy and research that is publicly funded and industry sponsored). There are many barriers to achieving this goal, some are concrete challenges and some are perception challenges. i~HD is developing some of the necessary solutions, and is connecting with other organisations that are also developing some of the solutions. This Network of Excellence will serve as a way of helping hospitals to support and encourage each other, to gain confidence in the trustworthiness of the EHR reuse ecosystem, to share solutions and benefits, to help guide i~HD to develop the solutions they need, and to contribute their perspectives to i~HD multi-stakeholder activities. This NoE will be launched at the February 9th workshop, and steered following that by a committee of hospital representatives and other advisers (as listed above). The NoE is likely to have further meetings during 2017, including some that are focused workshops on specific topics such as data quality, privacy protection, good EHR system use and benefits realisation.

Achievements during 2016

  • Detailed planning of the Hospital Network Workshop being held in February 2017.
  • Preparation of an ICT maturity and EHR use survey instrument.
  • Participation in learning health systems events and publications that showcase the broader value of health data to hospitals and other healthcare providers.

Plans for 2017

  • Hold the Hospital Network Workshop, in Brussels on February 9th, and use this as the springboard to launch a sustainable Network of Excellence for research-active and learning health system active hospitals across Europe.
  • Establish a dedicated steering committee for this Network, mainly comprising representatives from leading European hospitals, but also including representatives from patient organisations and other hospital oriented networks such as ECRIN, HOPE.
  • Hold similar or more focused events later in 2017.