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Data collections available for linkage

Master Linkage File (MLF)

The Master Linkage File (MLF) contains permanently linked references to multiple health-related data collections and registries in Queensland. The currency of the data included in the MLF is limited by the currency of data that is available in the source data collections. The datasets available for linkage are outlined in the Queensland Data Linkage Framework (PDF, 360KB).

This page provides details of datasets that have been linked as part of the MLF or those commonly requested for departmental or research linkage requests. This is not an exhaustive list of health data collections available in Queensland. If you would like advice about these datasets, approval processes or the suitability of data collections for linkage, please contact HSBresearch@health.qld.gov.au.  For further information about the availability of other data collections in Queensland Health please check the list of Queensland Department of Health and HHS Data Custodian contact list for Data Custodian details.

Datasets and availability (updated April 2021)

Collection titleData incorporated into the MLF from(b) How soon after the event are data available for research purposes?(c)
Birth Notification 1 January 2017 3 months
Consumer Integrated Mental Health Application (CIMHA) 1 January 2010 3 months
Cause of Death Unit Record File (COD URF) from the Australian Coordinating Registry 1 January 2000 2-3 years
Elective Surgery Data Collection (ESDC) 1 July 2015 3 months
Emergency Data Collection (EDC) 1 July 2008 3 months
Notifiable Conditions System (NoCS) 1 January 2010 3 months
Road Crash Data (Department of Transport and Main Roads)1 January 20103 months
Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) 1 July 2016 6 months
Queensland Health Non-admitted Patient Data Collection (QHNAPDC) 1 July 2016 12 months after financial year
Queensland Hospital Admitted Patient Data Collection (QHAPDC)(a)  1 January 2000 6 months
Queensland Perinatal Data Collection (PDC)(a) 1 July 2007 12-18 months
Registrar General Births 1 July 2007 3 months
Registrar General Deaths 1 January 2000 3 months
Retrieval Services Queensland 19 September 2017 3 months
Specialist Outpatient Data Collection 1 June 2015 3 months
Surgery Connect 19 September 2007 3 months

(a) Names and addresses for private facility and perinatal data were not supplied to the central data collection prior to 1 July 2007 so the quality of the linkage for these patients is questionable prior to this date and may result in bias in analysis undertaken using data from the period prior to 1 July 2007. For example, readmission rates for private hospitals may appear lower than for public hospitals due to failure to link data for private patients. For this reason, the MLF does not include data prior to 1 July 2007.
(b) This data refers to the earliest consistent data available.  Where possible, the MLF contains all available records.  Please note that all data released is at the discretion of the relevant Data Custodian.
(c) This is an approximate time frame indicating the availability of complete and validated data suitable for research purposes.  The MLF contains the latest available data but records may be subject to change as part of the standard data collection and validation process which is outside of the control of the linkage team.  Data yet to be validated may be available for internal departmental use.

Linkage of other data collections

The Statistical Services Branch in Queensland Health can link other datasets (not listed above) with approval of the relevant Data Custodian and if appropriate identifiers are available for linkage.  For example, in the past data sets from the iPharmacy, Pap Smear Registry, Queensland Cancer Registry and the National Hospital Costs Data Collection have been linked for approved research projects.  Data sets that are external to Queensland Health will also be considered for linkage assuming all relevant approvals are in place.  Questions about the feasibility of linkage should be directed to HSBresearch@health.qld.gov.au.

Contact details for Data Custodians within the Queensland Department of Health (PDF, 235KB)

Commonly requested data collections

Statistical Services Branch Data Collection Manuals

Last updated: 2 March 2016