Title: Toward an international health workforce data standard: an analysis of regulatory agency documents

Authors: Amy Opalek; Jane Greenberg

Addresses: Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA ' College of Computing and Informatics, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Abstract: Agencies responsible for regulating health professionals require detailed data describing individual practitioners and their qualifications. Initial collection of these data allows agencies to determine whether health professionals are qualified to practise safely. Ongoing collection of practitioner data is also critical for ensuring an adequate supply of health workers. A metadata standard facilitating data sharing among regulatory agencies can support these needs, providing the infrastructure necessary for detailed, interoperable practitioner registries. This paper presents the results of a document analysis of application forms used by 20 international agencies to collect data about physicians seeking licensure/registration. This research yielded over 250 unique data elements in 15 categories of interest. Though the scope of data required by regulatory agencies is vast, this research revealed a set of common metadata properties that provided a base for an international standard to support interoperable registries and the global exchange of health practitioner data.

Keywords: international data standards; health workforce; interoperability; metadata standards; document analysis; medical regulatory authorities; practitioner registries; metadata; professional licensure; professional registration.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMSO.2018.098386

International Journal of Metadata, Semantics and Ontologies, 2018 Vol.13 No.2, pp.93 - 103

Received: 05 Aug 2018
Accepted: 03 Oct 2018

Published online: 09 Mar 2019 *

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