Identifying unmet treatment needs for patients with osteoporotic fracture: Feasibility study for an electronic clinical surveillance system

Fong Ci Lin, Chen Yu Wang, Rung Ji Shang, Fei Yuan Hsiao, Mei Shu Lin, Kuan Yu Hung, Jui Wang, Zhen Fang Lin, Feipei Lai, Li Jiuan Shen, Chih Fen Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Traditional clinical surveillance relied on the results from clinical trials and observational studies of administrative databases. However, these studies not only required many valuable resources but also faced a very long time lag. Objective: This study aimed to illustrate a practical application of the National Taiwan University Hospital Clinical Surveillance System (NCSS) in the identification of patients with an osteoporotic fracture and to provide a high reusability infrastructure for longitudinal clinical data. Methods: The NCSS integrates electronic medical records in the National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH) with a data warehouse and is equipped with a user-friendly interface. The NCSS was developed using professional insight from multidisciplinary experts, including clinical practitioners, epidemiologists, and biomedical engineers. The practical example identifying the unmet treatment needs for patients encountering major osteoporotic fractures described herein was mainly achieved by adopting the computerized workflow in the NCSS. Results: We developed the infrastructure of the NCSS, including an integrated data warehouse and an automatic surveillance workflow. By applying the NCSS, we efficiently identified 2193 patients who were newly diagnosed with a hip or vertebral fracture between 2010 and 2014 at NTUH. By adopting the filter function, we identified 1808 (1808/2193, 82.44%) patients who continued their follow-up at NTUH, and 464 (464/2193, 21.16%) patients who were prescribed anti-osteoporosis medications, within 3 and 12 months post the index date of their fracture, respectively. Conclusions: The NCSS systems can integrate the workflow of cohort identification to accelerate the survey process of clinically relevant problems and provide decision support in the daily practice of clinical physicians, thereby making the benefit of evidence-based medicine a reality.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere142
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Guideline adherence
  • Information systems
  • Osteoporotic fractures
  • Pharmacovigilance
  • Public health surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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