Revision of the European Data Protection Directive: opportunity or threat for public health monitoring?

Gualtiero Ricciardi, F Carinci, Ct Di Iorio, N Klazinga, M. Verschuuren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)


The link between public health monitoring on one hand and data protection legislation on the other may not be immediately clear to all. Nevertheless, it has a strong relation with the conditions required to build and correctly operate high quality, sustainable public health information systems. The following public health goals are directly influenced by the data protection legislative framework: •optimizing efficiency, through a detailed analysis of health services provided to specific categories of individuals; •monitoring appropriateness, safety and quality of care, through a systematic assessment of processes and outcomes across different categories of users in the intermediate and long term; •targeting equity, through the analysis of deprived individuals that otherwise would have been difficult to track in relation to specific interventions; •ensuring the sustainability of systems of health indicators, through the intelligent use of the information available in large administrative databases; •enhancing data completeness for evidence-based policy making, identifying ways to extend the secondary use of health data; •enhancing data quality, through linkage of different databases at the subject level, which will prevent that events are missed or double counted; and •enhancing the competitiveness of the European Union, through an increased ability in using health data and the routine performance assessment of health services and systems to support research and development for innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)684-685
Number of pages2
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Computer Security
  • Confidentiality
  • European Union
  • Humans
  • Population Surveillance
  • Public Health


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