Event-based record linkage in health and aged care services data

A methodological innovation

Rosemary Karmel, Diane Gibson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background. The interface between acute hospital care and residential aged care has long been recognised as an important issue in aged care services research in Australia. However, existing national data provide very poor information on the movements of clients between the two sectors. Nevertheless, there are national data sets which separately contain data on individuals' hospital episodes and stays in residential aged care, so that linking the two data sets-if feasible-would provide a valuable resource for examining relationships between the two sectors. As neither name nor common person identifiers are available on the data sets, other information needs to be used to link events relating to inter-sector movement. Methods. Event-based matching using limited demographic data in conjunction with event dates to match events in two data sets provides a possible method for linking related events. The authors develop a statistical model for examining the likely prevalence of false matches, and consequently the number of true matches, among achieved matches when using anonymous event-based record linkage to identify transition events. Results. Theoretical analysis shows that for event-based matching the prevalence of false matches among achieved matches (a) declines as the events of interest become rarer, (b) declines as the number of matches increases, and (c) increases with the size of the population within which matching is taking place. The method also facilitates the examination of the trade-off between false matches and missed matches when relaxing or tightening linkage criteria. Conclusion. Event-based record linkage is a method for linking related transition events using event dates and basic demographic variables (other than name or person identifier). The likely extent of false links among achieved links depends on the two event rates, the match rate and population size. Knowing these, it is possible to gauge whether, for a particular study, event-based linkage could provide a useful tool for examining movements. Analysis shows that there is a range of circumstances in which event-based record linkage could be applied to two event-level databases to generate a linked database useful for transition analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number154
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes

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Delivery of Health Care
Population Density
Names
Demography
Databases
Statistical Models
Length of Stay
Datasets
Research

Cite this

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title = "Event-based record linkage in health and aged care services data: A methodological innovation",
abstract = "Background. The interface between acute hospital care and residential aged care has long been recognised as an important issue in aged care services research in Australia. However, existing national data provide very poor information on the movements of clients between the two sectors. Nevertheless, there are national data sets which separately contain data on individuals' hospital episodes and stays in residential aged care, so that linking the two data sets-if feasible-would provide a valuable resource for examining relationships between the two sectors. As neither name nor common person identifiers are available on the data sets, other information needs to be used to link events relating to inter-sector movement. Methods. Event-based matching using limited demographic data in conjunction with event dates to match events in two data sets provides a possible method for linking related events. The authors develop a statistical model for examining the likely prevalence of false matches, and consequently the number of true matches, among achieved matches when using anonymous event-based record linkage to identify transition events. Results. Theoretical analysis shows that for event-based matching the prevalence of false matches among achieved matches (a) declines as the events of interest become rarer, (b) declines as the number of matches increases, and (c) increases with the size of the population within which matching is taking place. The method also facilitates the examination of the trade-off between false matches and missed matches when relaxing or tightening linkage criteria. Conclusion. Event-based record linkage is a method for linking related transition events using event dates and basic demographic variables (other than name or person identifier). The likely extent of false links among achieved links depends on the two event rates, the match rate and population size. Knowing these, it is possible to gauge whether, for a particular study, event-based linkage could provide a useful tool for examining movements. Analysis shows that there is a range of circumstances in which event-based record linkage could be applied to two event-level databases to generate a linked database useful for transition analysis.",
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Event-based record linkage in health and aged care services data : A methodological innovation. / Karmel, Rosemary; Gibson, Diane.

In: BMC Health Services Research, Vol. 7, 154, 01.12.2007.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Event-based record linkage in health and aged care services data

T2 - A methodological innovation

AU - Karmel, Rosemary

AU - Gibson, Diane

PY - 2007/12/1

Y1 - 2007/12/1

N2 - Background. The interface between acute hospital care and residential aged care has long been recognised as an important issue in aged care services research in Australia. However, existing national data provide very poor information on the movements of clients between the two sectors. Nevertheless, there are national data sets which separately contain data on individuals' hospital episodes and stays in residential aged care, so that linking the two data sets-if feasible-would provide a valuable resource for examining relationships between the two sectors. As neither name nor common person identifiers are available on the data sets, other information needs to be used to link events relating to inter-sector movement. Methods. Event-based matching using limited demographic data in conjunction with event dates to match events in two data sets provides a possible method for linking related events. The authors develop a statistical model for examining the likely prevalence of false matches, and consequently the number of true matches, among achieved matches when using anonymous event-based record linkage to identify transition events. Results. Theoretical analysis shows that for event-based matching the prevalence of false matches among achieved matches (a) declines as the events of interest become rarer, (b) declines as the number of matches increases, and (c) increases with the size of the population within which matching is taking place. The method also facilitates the examination of the trade-off between false matches and missed matches when relaxing or tightening linkage criteria. Conclusion. Event-based record linkage is a method for linking related transition events using event dates and basic demographic variables (other than name or person identifier). The likely extent of false links among achieved links depends on the two event rates, the match rate and population size. Knowing these, it is possible to gauge whether, for a particular study, event-based linkage could provide a useful tool for examining movements. Analysis shows that there is a range of circumstances in which event-based record linkage could be applied to two event-level databases to generate a linked database useful for transition analysis.

AB - Background. The interface between acute hospital care and residential aged care has long been recognised as an important issue in aged care services research in Australia. However, existing national data provide very poor information on the movements of clients between the two sectors. Nevertheless, there are national data sets which separately contain data on individuals' hospital episodes and stays in residential aged care, so that linking the two data sets-if feasible-would provide a valuable resource for examining relationships between the two sectors. As neither name nor common person identifiers are available on the data sets, other information needs to be used to link events relating to inter-sector movement. Methods. Event-based matching using limited demographic data in conjunction with event dates to match events in two data sets provides a possible method for linking related events. The authors develop a statistical model for examining the likely prevalence of false matches, and consequently the number of true matches, among achieved matches when using anonymous event-based record linkage to identify transition events. Results. Theoretical analysis shows that for event-based matching the prevalence of false matches among achieved matches (a) declines as the events of interest become rarer, (b) declines as the number of matches increases, and (c) increases with the size of the population within which matching is taking place. The method also facilitates the examination of the trade-off between false matches and missed matches when relaxing or tightening linkage criteria. Conclusion. Event-based record linkage is a method for linking related transition events using event dates and basic demographic variables (other than name or person identifier). The likely extent of false links among achieved links depends on the two event rates, the match rate and population size. Knowing these, it is possible to gauge whether, for a particular study, event-based linkage could provide a useful tool for examining movements. Analysis shows that there is a range of circumstances in which event-based record linkage could be applied to two event-level databases to generate a linked database useful for transition analysis.

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VL - 7

JO - BMC Health Services Research

JF - BMC Health Services Research

SN - 1472-6963

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