As part of VAHI’s recent move from an Administrative Office to a division of the Department of Health, we are pleased to welcome the Health Services Data and Centre for Victorian Data Linkage teams to the VAHI division. Integrating these teams into VAHI, alongside our existing reporting and analytics functions, brings together a critical mass of expertise to support our mission of delivering trusted information to inform better decisions that improve the health and wellbeing of Victorians.
Health Services Data
The Health Services Data team supports the development, collection and use of Victoria’s health datasets, including (but not limited to) data relating to hospital admissions, emergency department attendances, elective surgery waiting lists, births in Victoria, alcohol and other drugs services, mental health services and health service financial data. The team also encompasses coding and classification, health data integrity and data management, standards and privacy to ensure data is accurate and managed securely in line with privacy and security standards.
The team’s role is to ensure that Victoria can continue to meet its state and national reporting obligations and can therefore be appropriately remunerated for health services provided to Victorians. Additionally, the team supports collection of appropriate data to inform planning and policy development and oversight, hospital funding and enable monitoring of safe, high-quality care.
Comprising a mix of experienced data management and technical professionals, the team provides guidance and advice to data providers (including health and other service providers) and data users (both within and external to the Department). The team also develops, monitors and maintains the many systems required to receive, process, store and use this abundance of data.
For more information about the work of the Health Services Data team, please contact Paulette Kelly (Acting Director, Health Services Data) via Paulette.Kelly@dhhs.vic.gov.au.
Centre for Victorian Data Linkage
The Centre for Victorian Data Linkage (CVDL) was established in 2009 to undertake person-centred data linkage in Victoria in response to requests from government and researchers. The CVDL is the Victorian linkage agency of the national Population Health Research Network and is accredited by the Commonwealth Government as an integrating authority, able to link sensitive Commonwealth data.
Data linkage is a technique for identifying records that belong to the same individual across different data sources. Linked data provides a valuable evidence base for researchers and policy makers by enabling a more detailed understanding of pathways through the service system, and outcomes of service interventions. The CVDL has developed and now manages an enduring de-identified linked data asset of around 35 datasets across health, human services, education, justice and police.
Linked data has been used in many ways, including to inform demand modelling by quantifying how investment (for example, mental health) in one intervention may result in lower service use in other areas (for example, emergency department presentations). Linked data is also used to inform service pathway mapping, and understanding short and long-term outcomes of medical conditions and interventions.
The CVDL follows robust processes to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Privacy and Data Protection Act and Health Records Act, as well as best practice data linkage techniques. This includes approval by data custodians of relevant datasets, and, where required, development of a Privacy Impact Assessment, and approval by an accredited Human Research Ethics Committee.
We look forward to sharing more information about the fantastic work of both of these teams in the coming months.
For more information about the CVDL, please contact Sharon Williams (Manager, Centre for Victorian Data Linkage) via Sharon.Williams@dhhs.vic.gov.au.