Methods Inf Med 2016; 55(02): 114-124
DOI: 10.3414/ME15-01-0045
Original Articles
Schattauer GmbH

SPIRIT: Systematic Planning of Intelligent Reuse of Integrated Clinical Routine Data

A Conceptual Best-practice Framework and Procedure Model
W. O. Hackl
1  Institute of Biomedical Informatics, UMIT – University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Hall in Tirol, Austria
E. Ammenwerth
1  Institute of Biomedical Informatics, UMIT – University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Hall in Tirol, Austria
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received: 18 March 2015

accepted: 11 January 2015

Publication Date:
08 January 2018 (online)


Background: Secondary use of clinical routine data is receiving an increasing amount of attention in biomedicine and healthcare. However, building and analysing integrated clinical routine data repositories are non -trivial, challenging tasks. As in most evolving fields, recognized standards, well-proven methodological frameworks, or accurately described best-practice approaches for the systematic planning of solutions for secon -dary use of routine medical record data are missing.

Objective: We propose a conceptual best-practice framework and procedure model for the systematic planning of intelligent reuse of integrated clinical routine data (SPIRIT).

Methods: SPIRIT was developed based on a broad literature overview and further refined in two case studies with different kinds of clinical routine data, including process-oriented nursing data from a large hospital group and high-volume multimodal clinical data from a neurologic intensive care unit.

Results: SPIRIT aims at tailoring secondary use solutions to specific needs of single departments without losing sight of the institution as a whole. It provides a general conceptual best-practice framework consisting of three parts: First, a secondary use strategy for the whole organization is determined. Second, comprehensive analyses are conducted from two different viewpoints to define the requirements regarding a clinical routine data reuse solution at the system level from the data perspective (BOTTOM UP) and at the strategic level from the future users perspective (TOP DOWN). An obligatory clinical context analysis (IN BETWEEN) facilitates refinement, combination, and integration of the different requirements. The third part of SPIRIT is dedicated to implementation, which comprises design and realization of clinical data integration and management as well as data analysis solutions.

Conclusions: The SPIRIT framework is intended to be used to systematically plan the intelligent reuse of clinical routine data for multiple purposes, which often was not intended when the primary clinical documentation systems were implemented. SPIRIT helps to overcome this gap. It can be applied in healthcare institutions of any size or specialization and allows a stepwise setup and evolution of holistic clinical routine data reuse solutions.