Structure and Governance

Structure

The WA Department of Health provides linked data for both research and non-research purposes. The staff who undertake these activities are comprised of cross-functional teams made up of Data Linkage, Systems, Data Outputs, ISPD Client Services, Linkage Strategy, and Ethics and Research Governance functions.

These teams work in physically separate areas to ensure that privacy protecting role separation is maintained in all practices, although the teams are in constant communication to ensure a harmonious system.

Our staff come from a wide range of background disciplines, including health science, mathematics, computer science, information management, medicine, law and education.

Data Linkage Team

The Data Linkage team comprises multiple Linkage Officers who undertake a variety of duties, primarily the routine linkage of core datasets and the preparation of study groups and linkage key extractions for projects. The Data Linkage team also perform other value-adding activities, including geocoding, creation of genealogical links via the Family Connections System and the development of new linkage and quality improvement strategies.

For a complete list of the datasets linked and available in the WA Data Linkage System (WADLS), visit our Data section.

Systems Team

The Systems team are technical experts who work on WADLS infrastructure. Their role is to ensure the WADLS and other servers and systems are well maintained, secure and best equipped to manage the diverse and ever-increasing volume of data handled by the various teams. The team consists of programmers and a Systems Administrator, who write software, maintain server architecture, and assist staff to keep technical operations running smoothly.

Data Outputs Team

The Data Outputs team is responsible for the data infrastructure of the Data Warehouse, and using this data, perform cohort selections and extraction of linked content data on behalf of a number of Data Collections. The team also performs merging, data quality checking on content data to be delivered to Data Applicants and preparation of metadata and documentation to assist Data Applicants with their analysis.

ISPD Client Services Team

The ISPD Client Services team is responsible for managing the data delivery pipeline, from assisting with project design and facilitation through to data delivery. The application process is described in more detail at the Application Process page.

For research related client services inquiries, please contact DataServ@health.wa.gov.au. For non-research related client services inquiries, please contact ISPDClientServices@health.wa.gov.au.

Linkage Strategy Team

The Linkage Strategy team are responsible for overseeing implementation of activities and projects within the Data Linkage Strategy and Reform Program. The Data Linkage Strategy 2022-24 was developed by the Department to reform and innovate the process for provision of linked data in a transparent way that is timely, affordable and of appropriate scope for the evolving needs of data users and the community.

 


Governance

Data Linkage Services has a robust governance structure, with both Research and Government-focused advisory committees and an Executive oversight body at the Western Australian Department of Health.

We are also part of the Population Health Research Network (PHRN), an Australian Government collaboration that has built a nationwide data linkage infrastructure. The PHRN is an initiative of the Australian Government, conducted as part of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy.