De-identified linkage of Victorian injury data records: A feasibility study

Monash University Accident Research Centre - Report #296 [2009]

Authors: Angelo D'Elia and Stuart Newstead

Full report in .pdf format [471KB]


Research utilising the available mass databases relating to real world road crashes compiled by Police, government and insurers in Victoria provides much useful information for injury prevention purposes. Separately, these data sources have been critical for a wide range of important research carried out by the Monash University Accident Research Centre and many other agencies that has led to the development of new countermeasures and evidence-based preventive policies and programmes. The record linkage of these datasets and hospital injury records has the potential to maximise the use of available data by researchers to extend our understanding of the causes, outcomes and costs of road traffic and other injuries. As has occurred in Western Australia , research based on linked data has the potential to enormously enhance the evidence base for road and non-road injury prevention policy making, preventive measures and programme evaluation of interventions. This project explored the feasibility of linking Police-reported motor vehicle crash, Transport Accident Commission (TAC) insurance, in-depth crash data and hospital injury datasets using a de-identified linkage approach. It was found that the de-identified linkage of hospital data to other injury datasets was not feasible and a separate approach to linking this data based on identified information is recommended. De-identified linkage of Police and TAC data was proved to be feasible and identified potential alternative measures of serious injury, other than that reported by Police, that could be used for road safety research and as key outcome measures for Victoria's arrive alive 2008-2017 road safety strategy.

Sponsoring organisation - Baseline Research Program - Department of Justice, Transport Accident Commission, VicRoads