In France, the European health card was created in June 2004 to increase the quality of healthcare granted to european citizen anywhere in europe and to facilitate the reimbursement of the healthcare costs. The patient identifier included in this card is essentially based on the healthcare insurance number of the patient and does not allow any linkage with his (her) previous health care data if he (she) is affiliated to another national healthcare insurance system when working for a long duration outside France. The purpose of this paper is to present the concept of a personal identifier based on familial components which has been validated by the French authority for personal data protection in the framework of a genetic study. Results issued from the Burgundy perinatal network demonstrate the interest and the faisability of adding a maternal component to the individual component of the new-born to allow Mother/new-born healthcare data linkage after anonymization. The advantage of adding a familial component to the healthcare insurance number is debated. This proposal will permit to link the data of a patient even when residing outside his country in Europe. It will also contribute to establish european public health statistics by matching healthcare data of the patients' records with other administrative data (mortality, social information …) after anonymisation of these data in accordance with the European directive on data protection.
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