In order to support decisions and analyze outcomes, the Spanish Health System has shown a great interest in developing data bases and high quality information systems. Nevertheless the use of these data bases are limited, not very systematized and, some times, their accessibility may be difficult.
We describe in this review the experience in using the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Science (ICES, Ontario, Canada) as an efficient model to improve the usefulness of these data bases.
Under restrictive conditions of confidentiality and privacy, the ICES has the legal capacity to use several population based data bases, for research projects and reports. ICES's functional structure (with an administrative and scientific level) is an interesting framework since it guarantees its independent and economic assessment.
To date, its scientific production has been high in many areas of knowledge and open to those interested, with points of view of many health care professionals (including management), for whom the quality of research is of the ultimate importance, to be able to access these resources.