Establishing a process for conducting cross-jurisdictional record linkage in Australia

Hannah Moore, T. Guiver, A. Woollacott, Nicholas De Klerk, H.F. Gidding

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© 2015 Public Health Association of Australia. Objective: To describe the realities of conducting a cross-jurisdictional data linkage project involving state and Australian Government-based data collections to inform future national data linkage programs of work. Methods: We outline the processes involved in conducting a Proof of Concept data linkage project including the implementation of national data integration principles, data custodian and ethical approval requirements, and establishment of data flows. Results: The approval process involved nine approval and regulatory bodies and took more than two years. Data will be linked across 12 datasets involving three data linkage centres. A framework was established to allow data to flow between these centres while maintaining the separation principle that serves to protect the privacy of the individual. Conclusions: This will be the first project to link child immunisation records from an Australian Government dataset to other administrative health datasets for a population cohort covering 2 million births in two Australian states. Implications: Although the project experienced some delays, positive outcomes were realised, primarily the development of strong collaborations across key stakeholder groups including community engagement. We have identified several recommendations and enhancements to this now established framework to further streamline the process for data linkage studies involving Australian Government data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-164
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
Early online date11 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2016


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