Data linkage information for consumers

MedicineInsight can link to information from other sources to create new and clearer information, leading to better patient care. This process is known as data linkage.

What is data linkage?

Data linkage is when information from one place joins with information from other sources. There are many organisations that collect data. They might do this to check and improve how they do things. Sometimes they use this for research. A data set is a group of information that an organisation collects and stores. These organisations might link the information to each other so that the information is clearer. Sometimes this might have details about the whole country, a state or other groups of people. MedicineInsight information can link with other data sets from other organisations. 


Why should we have data linkage?

It’s a safe and secure way to share data from many data sets. This helps to find out new knowledge that can lead to improved patient health care. When we gather information from one organisation, it shows part of the picture of that group’s health. When information comes from more than one source, the picture becomes clearer. This can help grow what we know about the health of Australians.


How does MedicineInsight link data?

A complex process links our details to details from other data sets. This process protects your private details. We have rules to keep your information safe through each step of the process. A program protects and mixes up the information. This is through a special program that creates many unique numbers called ‘linkage keys’. These linkage keys help to match the details with other data sets. This all happens before it gets to the person doing the research. Even through the linking process, there is no way to link the details back to a person.


How do you protect my privacy?

We want to keep your private information safe and use the data to help improve people’s health and health care. An ethics committee must check all projects before they approve the use of our data. They make sure that the research is good for people. They also make sure that the research keeps people safe and does not hurt the people involved. This happens before people doing the research get the linked data. The way that we do this also follows the law and rules from the Australian Government. We have based our rules on the Five Safes framework. This framework is from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. For more information about this, you can click here.