Health Registries for Research (HRR)

A national research infrastructure project funded by the Research Council of Norway.

The project addresses the needs of the research community by establishing a research documentation service that offers improved documentation (metadata) of the health registries, statistical methods specifically developed for health registries, and statistical support service. The project enhances data security by facilitating the use of secure servers for storage and analysis of research data.

Norwegian health registries have been used extensively in high-impact scientific publications that have contributed to important medical advancements and new knowledge. However, health registries are under-utilised in medical research because of inadequate research infrastructure. Researchers have spent too much of their time obtaining data instead of analysing and publishing the results.

National collaboration

The HRR-project is coordinated by the University of Bergen, and carried out in close collaboration with the University of Tromsø, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the Norwegian Directorate of Health. The HRR infrastructure consortium also includes the two other large Norweigan universities, namely the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the University of Oslo, as well as all four Regional Health Authorities in Norway. All partners are represented in the project’s steering group by high-level representatives from each institution. Thus the steering group constitutes a national network with a considerable influence in issues related to the Norwegian health registries.

Three infrastructure pillars

Improved registry infrastructure is also essential for optimal utilization of Norwegian population-based health studies and biobanks. ‘Health registries for research’ should be seen as one of the three pillars of a complete national infrastructure in medical research, consisting of biobanks, cohorts, and health registries.

three-pillars

 

The combination of clinical and population-based biobanks, national health registries and large population-based cohorts provides a unique research infrastructure internationally, and even in comparison with other Nordic countries. This is a comparative strength for Norwegian research.