Data Sharing Manager

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The Discovery Data Service (DDS) receives data from source organisations (publishers), transforms the data into a common model, stores the data, and then distributes the data to organisations (subscribers), subject to data sharing agreements, consent and satisfactory security arrangements.

Data Sharing Manager (DSM) provides a visual representation of data that is being shared and processed and by which organisations, regions, and/or services. You can also amend or cancel data sharing and processing agreements in real time.

The DSM also stores the information that manages subscriber access to patient data; subscriber data is provided either in the form of a subscriber database, which includes a subset of the patient population, or individual patient data via an API.

Data flow through Data Sharing Manager – high level overview

DSM high level overview

This diagram shows, at a high level, the flow of data into Discovery and explains the various gatekeeping stages that data goes through, from being sent by data publishers until it is made available for data subscribers:

  1. Data is sent to Discovery by the data publisher.
  2. DSM checks if there is an active Data Publishing Agreement (DPA):
    1. If there isn't an active DPA, the data is not accepted by the DDS.
    2. If there is an active DPA, the data is transformed in the DDS and stored in the FHIR core.
  3. DSM then checks if there is an active Data Sharing Agreement (DSA):
    1. If there isn't an active DSA, the data is not made available to subscribers.
    2. If there is an active DSA, DSM check if the publisher is publishing to an active project with a config record.
      1. If there isn't an active project, the data is not made available to subscribers.
      2. If there is an active project, but without a config record, the data is not made available to subscribers.
      3. If there is an active project with a config record, the DSM informs the DDS UI.
  4. DDS UI checks the config records and informs the DDS.
  5. The DDS then transforms the data into the correct subscriber format, according to the config record, and makes it available to subscribers.

Data Sharing Manager publisher/project set up – high level overview

This diagram shows, at a high level, the hierarchy of publisher and subscriber organisations and how access to data is controlled at an organisational level.

DSM project set up high level overview

Only organisations that are linked to a region can be assigned as Publishers and/or Subscribers.


Organisations are defined by an organisation data service (ODS) code and include GP practices and other healthcare providers. Organisations can be publishers and/or subscribers, and can include one or more services. An organisation must be assigned to a region.
Regions are set up in Data Sharing Manager to represent the NHS hierarchy; they are used to control which organisations you can access and which organisations can be assigned to a DPA and/or a DSA. Access to regions and organisations is dependent on your user permissions and the organisation that you are associated with.
Data processing agreements are set up in Data Sharing Manager to govern the data that is published to the Discovery Data Service. A DPA must be assigned to a region to assign publishing organisations. Only organisations assigned to a region can be selected.
Data sharing agreements are set up in Data Sharing Manager to govern the data that is shared between publishers and subscribers using the Discovery Data Service. A DSA must be assigned to a region to assign publishing and/or subscribing organisations. Only organisations assigned to a region can be selected.
Projects are defined in Data Sharing Manager as the detailed configuration of a specific data sharing agreement use case. A project must be assigned to a DSA to assign publishing and/or subscribing organisations. Only organisations assigned to a DSA can be selected.

See also: