Population Health Research Network

The Department of Health is a member 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

Data Applicants who are developing a proposal for a study involving cross jurisdictional data linkage are encouraged to contact Policy and Client Services at the PHRN Program Office.

The Program Office can offer advice and assistance with the following:

  • Availability and location of datasets;
  • Access and approvals processes;
  • Costs and pricing for data linkage projects;
  • Approximate timeframes from approvals to data delivery; and
  • Referrals to Data Linkage Units.

See also: http://www.phrn.org.au/home


Commonwealth Data

Some significant health data relating to WA residents is held by the Australian Federal Government. This includes information about:

  • residential care and related data concerning aged care;
  • claims for visits to general practitioners and some other Medicare treatments;
  • pharmaceutical claims in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Since 2012, all new data linkage projects involving Australian Federal Government health datasets require an approved Integrating Authority, accredited by the Australian Government Cross Portfolio Data Integration Oversight Board.

More information can be found on the Statistical Data Integration website


Applying for WA linked data as part of a cross jurisdictional project

For multijurisdictional linkage projects, Data Applicants may choose to manage their project through the PHRN Online Application System.

Research Data accepts this application form in place of the Department of Health’s Application for Data form, however applications must also include Data Services forms and Variable Lists.

Data Applicants should contact the Research Data Services Team (data.services@health.wa.gov.au)  as well as the other relevant organisations, for example:

Privacy Preserving Record Linkage

Privacy Preserving Record Linkage (PPRL) is a technique that enables data linkage without using personal identifying information. The Department of Health is currently investigating PPRL as a means of facilitating projects where identifiable information cannot otherwise be shared. Though PPRL is not currently offered by the Data Linkage Branch as a service, if you would like to register your interest in using PPRL for a project, please email Dataservices@health.wa.gov.au