Population Health Research Network

The PHRN is building the capability to linkA connection between records indicating that two records are deemed to belong to the same person. dataCan refer to: (1) the demographic data used in the Data Linkage process; or (2) information pertaining to services provided to people or their clinical information (available only from Data Custodians, including via CARES). between states and territories as well as between states and territories and the Commonwealth. There are two organisations that have been funded to build cross jurisdictional data linkageA complex technique for connecting data records within and between datasets using demographic data (e.g. name, date of birth, address, sex, medical record number). Also called ‘Record Linkage’ or ‘Linkage’. capabilities: the Centre for Data Linkage (CDL) located at Curtin University and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) located in Canberra.

Data users who are developing a proposal for a study involving cross jurisdictional linkage are encouraged to contact Policy and Client Services at the PHRN Program Office on 08 6488 8683. The Program Office can offer advice and assistance with the following:
•    Availability and location of datasets;
•    Access and approvals processes;
•    Costs and pricing for data linkage projects;
•    Approximate timeframes from approvals to data delivery; and
•    Referrals to data linkage units.

See also:

Commonwealth Data

Some significant health data relating to WA is held by the Australian Federal Government. This includes information about:
•    residential care and related data concerning aged care;
•    claims for visits to general practitioners and some other Medicare treatments;
•    pharmaceutical claims in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Since 2012, all new data linkage projects involving Australian Federal Government health datasets require an approved Integrating Authority, accredited by the Australian Government Cross Portfolio Data Integration Oversight Board.  
More information can be found on the
Cross Portfolio Data Integration website


Applying for WA Linked Data as part of a Cross Jurisdictional Project

You will need to contact our client services team as well as the other relevant organisations, for example:

Applications for cross jurisdictional data should be made via the PHRN Online Application System and must also include supplementary data servicesCan refer to: (1) The Data Services Team – another name for the Data Linkage Branch Client Services Team. The Team can be contacted through the general Data Services email address of dataservices@health.wa.gov.au; or (2) the unique services offered by the Data Linkage Branch, including Linkage, Extraction, Family Connections, Geocoding and Sample Selection. These services correlate to the Data Services Forms, which are completed by Data Applicants. forms and variablesThe specific data items that are collected for health records, e.g. name, address, date of birth, sex etc. Researchers can apply to obtain certain variables from DOHWA data collections. The release of these variables is decided by the individual data custodians of those collections. lists, see https://www.datalinkage-wa.org/forms.

Applicants should be aware that currently, the release of person identifying data beyond the WA Department of Health from certain data collections (e.g. the WA Midwives Notification System and Hospital Morbidity Data System) will not be approved without project specific legal advice being sought by the Department. Recent projects have not received the approval required for this type of data release. An enduring resolution for this issue is being sought as a matter of urgency by the Department. Person identifying data in this instance include name, street address, Unit Medical RecordA single data item sourced from a data collection, which typically refers to one event, instance or registration (e.g. hospital discharge, birth registration, car crash), although in rare cases can refer to more than one. The specifics of what constitutes a record varies between data collections, depending on how the data is recorded and stored. Each record contains: (1) demographic information (names, addresses, etc), that DLB uses to link the data, and; (2) service information (diagnoses, procedures, etc) that are used by Applicants to perform analysis. Number and telephone number. Instances excluded from this consideration are where legislated release of these data is required or return of these data to data providers is required.