PHRN Data Linkage in a Pandemic

PHRN Data Linkage in a Pandemic

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Data linkage in a pandemic

In the past few months, we have seen how the movement of people has helped SARS-CoV-2travel quickly around the world. The analysis of data brought together from different sources is a key component in understanding and managing this pandemic. Australia’s high quality administrative data and systematic approach to data linkage give us a strong advantage in fighting this virus. We can analyse data sets within and across all jurisdictions to provide our governments with the information they need to plan for and manage health services.

The Population Health Research Network has already seen an increase in demand for our linkage services. Examples of how data linkage has assisted in this pandemic include:

  • Identifying health service usage and outcomes for confirmed COVID-19 cases
  • Finding contact information for lists of travellers
  • Identifying sociodemographic characteristics and comorbid conditions for COVID-19 cases

This demonstrates how essential our data linkage services are in a pandemic situation.

To view the current status of our PHRN data linkage units response to the COVID-19 pandemic click here


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PHRN is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and has taken steps to mitigate the risk of transmission to our staff. In line with advice on social distancing, all staff at PHRN program office have moved to work from home and are currently working in line with our usual work patterns. We will be participating in any meetings we need to attend remotely via Zoom. We are reviewing our work plans in light of the current situation and will make changes as required to ensure we are serving our network, researchers and community in this changing situation.

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Listen to our Webinar Wednesday by Dr Melissa O’Donnell from @telethonkids talk on "Using linked data to provide evidence for improved policy and support for vulnerable children and families."