This document defines a set of high-level categories of purposes for which personal health information can be processed: collected, used, stored, accessed, analysed, created, linked, communicated, disclosed or retained. This is in order to provide a framework for classifying the various specific purposes that can be defined and used by individual policy domains (e.g. healthcare organisation, regional health authority, jurisdiction, country) as an aid to the consistent management of information in the delivery of health care services and for the communication of electronic health records across organisational and jurisdictional boundaries.
Health data that have been irreversibly de-identified are outside the scope of this document, but since de-identification processes often includes some degree of reversibility, this document can also be used for disclosures of de-identified and/or pseudonymised health data whenever practicable.
This classification, whilst not defining an exhaustive set of purposes categories, provides a common mapping target to bridge between differing national lists of purpose and thereby supports authorised automated cross-border flows of EHR data.