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Posted on 07 Jul 2021
Data, coding and classification

The demand for linked data has never been higher. The experience of responding to COVID-19 in Victoria has demonstrated the value of linked to data to provide insights beyond those available via single datasets alone. VAHI’s Centre for Victorian Data Linkage (CVDL) is working to meet these needs by developing a new 'Integrated data resource' platform that will make processing, analysing and sharing linked data quicker and more efficient. 

The use of linked person level data enables government and researchers to get a better understanding of groups of similar people and their multiple interactions with government services and programs. This means researchers can examine how the Victorian community access services and programs to inform how interventions can be better designed, and when they are best implemented, to achieve the best possible outcomes.

For example, understanding clinical pathways for cancer patients through different hospitals, and the outcomes of treatment, enables better sharing of knowledge and practises between hospitals. The goal is to implement evidence-based policy and service delivery approaches that lead to better outcomes for patients.

The CVDL routinely links more than 35 health, human services and other administrative and clinical datasets. Currently, with the massive volumes of data that need to be processed using the existing technology infrastructure, the CVDL undertakes this linkage annually. We are currently redeveloping CVDL’s technical platform using Microsoft Azure, with the aim of linked data being available monthly by the end of 2021.

One of the biggest benefits of frequently linked data is that the data is more current, enabling more timely evidence to support research and policy decisions. Once the platform is established, events can be examined, monitored, and responded to close to when they occur, rather than waiting sometime into the future to review the linked data.

For more information regarding the new platform, contact Sharon Williams, Manager of the Centre for Victorian Data Linkage via sharon.williams@vahi.vic.gov.au.

Page last updated: 07 Jul 2021