Data streams and limits to the use of patient data originating in (forensic) mental health care institutions
background Patient data are not being used soley in the mental health care institutions in which the patients are being treated. Discussion about the legitimacy of using patient data for various purposes is hindered by a lack of clarity about the nature and content of the data streams.
aim To provide insight into the discrepancy between the purposes of collecting patient data and the purposes for which patient data are being used.
method We reviewed literature on the subject and consulted professionals by means of (open) interviews.
results Patient data can be divided into four categories, each of which corresponds to the particular purpose for which patient data were acquired or used: clinical, quality and policy, research and ‘other purposes’.
conclusion The way in which patient data are handled should depend on the nature and content of the data involved and, above all, on the purposes for which the data have been collected.