Making publicly available data publicly accessible: Belgium’s Hospital Minimal Data

June 13, 2014

(This article was first published on FishyOperations » R, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

In current times data is everywhere. The big challenge however is making it not only available, but also accessible to those who need it.

An example of this is the Hospital Minimal Data (Belgium). This dataset is openly published by the Federal Public Service for Health, Food Chain Safety & Environment.

From a perspective of hospital management, a number of different interesting topics can be extracted from this. For example the market share of patients which a hospital has in a given area or the geographical distribution of patients in given diagnosis group can be retrieved from the data.

While all these data are available on the website, it takes time and basic analytic skills to interpret these data and present them coherently. While bigger hospitals will have no doubt access to the analytic skills required (and probably have better tools at their disposal than the one presented here), the question remains whether or not this data is accessible enough to smaller hospitals and/or related services if no easy exploration tool is provided.

This is an attempt — and no more than that — to set-up an interactive tool to browse through Belgium’s Hospital Minimal Data.


While not going into detail on the backgrounds, this tool was build using open-source software. Most notably R and Shiny. The source code is available at: (WILL BE ADDED SOON)


The post Making publicly available data publicly accessible: Belgium’s Hospital Minimal Data appeared first on FishyOperations.

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