Significant differences in use of linked hospital data for research in Australia: NSW and WA leading the way
A recent paper, Growth of linked hospital data use in Australia: a systematic review, published in the Australian Health Review highlighted large variations in the use of hospital data linkage for health services research purposes across Australian states. This study conducted by researchers at the Centre for Health Policy at the University of Melbourne showed that the large majority (83%) of the published literature which uses linked hospital data for health research were contributed by two states, Western Australia and New South Wales while other states significantly lag behind (see attached figure). The paper also highlighted the lack of publications utilising multi-state data through data linkage which could indicate the presence of significant barriers in conducting cross-jurisdictional research. There have been significant investments to build up Australia’s data linkage capabilities and in establishing a data linkage unit in each state. Given that appropriate infrastructure is now in place, it is important to identify and overcome the barriers limiting the gains from this investment and to start maximising the potential of using linked data in health services research.
The paper is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AH16034
Figure showing many more research publications using hospital linked data in WA and NSW compared to other states. WA and NSW also show evidence of more rapid growth in publication outputs.
SOURCE: Australian Health Review (2016)
Link to Croakey Article ‘Having the ability to link data is just the first step: let’s start linking research to data’
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