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BACKGROUND: Hospital electronic patient records (EPRs) offer the opportunity to exploit large-scale routinely acquired data at relatively low cost and without selection. EPRs provide considerably richer data, and in real-time, than retrospective administrative data sets in which clinical complexity is often poorly captured. With population ageing, a wide range of hospital specialties now manage older people with multimorbidity, frailty and associated poor outcomes. We, therefore, set-up the Oxford and Reading Cognitive Comorbidity, Frailty and Ageing Research Database-Electronic Patient Records (ORCHARD-EPR) to facilitate clinically meaningful research in older hospital patients, including algorithm development, and to aid medical decision-making, implementation of guidelines, and inform policy. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: ORCHARD-EPR uses routinely acquired individual patient data on all patients aged ≥65 years with unplanned admission or Same Day Emergency Care unit attendance at four acute general hospitals serving a population of >800 000 (Oxfordshire, UK) with planned extension to the neighbouring Berkshire regional hospitals (>1 000 000). Data fields include diagnosis, comorbidities, nursing risk assessments, frailty, observations, illness acuity, laboratory tests and brain scan images. Importantly, ORCHARD-EPR contains the results from mandatory hospital-wide cognitive screening (≥70 years) comprising the 10-point Abbreviated-Mental-Test and dementia and delirium diagnosis (Confusion Assessment Method-CAM). Outcomes include length of stay, delayed transfers of care, discharge destination, readmissions and death. The rich multimodal data are further enhanced by linkage to secondary care electronic mental health records. Selection of appropriate subgroups or linkage to existing cohorts allows disease-specific studies. Over 200 000 patient episodes are included to date with data collection ongoing of which 129 248 are admissions with a length of stay ≥1 day in 64 641 unique patients. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: ORCHARD-EPR is approved by the South Central Oxford C Research Ethics Committee (ref: 23/SC/0258). Results will be widely disseminated through peer-reviewed publications and presentations at conferences, and regional meetings to improve hospital data quality and clinical services.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Open

Publication Date





Decision Making, Dementia, Electronic Health Records, Frailty, Hospitals, Humans, Electronic Health Records, Aged, Comorbidity, Databases, Factual, Frailty, Female, Aged, 80 and over, Male, Aging, United Kingdom, Geriatric Assessment