Menzies Health Institute Queensland 2016 Seminar Series - Dr Trisha Johnston, Dr Tracy Comans and Catherine Taylor

Menzies Health Institute Queensland 2016 Seminar Series - Dr Trisha Johnston, Dr Tracy Comans and Catherine Taylor

Principal speaker

Dr Trisha Johnston

Other speakers

Dr Tracy Comans and Catherine Taylor

Statistical Services Branch, Queensland Health

Seminar title: Health data linkage in Queensland


Please register your attendance here for catering purposes. 


During 2005 the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) Committee identified ‘population health and clinical data linkage’ as a priority national research capability area noting that “a significant quantity of health-related data is collected in Australia that could potentially be a valuable research resource if it were better integrated and linked”.  The Population Health Research Network (PHRN) was created and funded through NCRIS and various other government and university sources to enable development of infrastructure to promote linkage of health data in Australia.

In response to expressions of interest for the PHRN a consortium was formed in Queensland with representation from the Queensland Department of Health (DoH), the CSIRO Centre for eHealth Research, and a number of Queensland Universities.  National and State funding was obtained and a data linkage unit was established in the Queensland Department of Health in the Statistical Service Branch and has been operating since approximately 2011.  Requests for linked data from within the health department and from researchers have been increasing and in 2014/15 linked data were provided for approximately 70 departmental requests and 45 research requests.

In this presentation we will describe health data linkage activity that is occurring in the Queensland Health data linkage service, including data collections linked routinely and on an ad hoc basis, methods used for linkage, examples of projects linked data have been provided for, uses of linked data within Queensland Health for health services policy, planning and management, and how to apply for access to linked data for research projects.


Dr Trisha Johnston has been the Director of the Statistical Analysis and Linkage Unit, Statistical Services Branch in Queensland Health since 2009.  She holds a BA (Honours), Psychology; Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD), Psychology; and a Masters in Science, Statistics. She has worked with health data both at the Queensland Ambulance Service and within Queensland Health since 2000 and has extensive knowledge and experience in statistical analysis, linkage and interpretation and reporting of health data to support the development of policy and systems to improve the quality and efficiency of health services.

Dr Tracy Comans is a Principal Research Fellow with a conjoint appointment between the Centre for Applied Health Economics, School of Medicine, Griffith University and the Metro North Hospital and Health Service, Her research focuses on developing economic models to synthesise costs and outcomes of health care interventions and leading and developing health services research of allied health and rehabilitation services. Recent work has included economic evaluations of the transition care program for older people in the community post hospital admission and the orthopaedic physiotherapy screening clinic and multidisciplinary service. She has degrees in physiotherapy and economics (Hons) with a clinical background as a physiotherapist with special interests in aged care and rehabilitation.

Catherine Taylor has been a member of the Data Linkage Team, Statistical Services Branch in Queensland Health since 2012. She holds a BA (Honours), Psychology and Sociology. She has worked with health data at NHS Scotland and within Queensland Health since 2006, developing skills and knowledge in data linkage techniques.

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