The geo-coding process is achieved by the following steps:
- CAT separating the patients address from de-identified demographic and clinical information to ensure they are never held anywhere together outside the practice.
- CAT tagging the de-identified data with a unique and encrypted code so on arrival in PAT CAT it can be matched to a geographical location. This code has no meaning outside the PAT CAT system.
- CAT sending the address securely to an Australian based mapping service which returns the geospatial location information for each address for usage by PAT CAT.
- These codes are used to create a map in PAT CAT utilising the geospatial location information matched with the de-identified data to create a map displaying the number of patients with a specific profile and how they are distributed. This provides the ability to correlate patient problems with location and look for patterns.
- PAT CAT will not display patients in an area where the number drops below 5.
To ensure patient privacy, all mapping of patient data in PAT CAT is of aggregated data, individual patients are never shown. In fact it requires at least five patients to be present within a map segment (SA2) for any information to be shown.