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Data linkage

Theme overview

The parallel sessions within the data linkage theme focused on the following issues. Select the presentation titles to download the slides as PDFs.

Summary of key points

  1. Achieving data linkages can be challenging on a number of fronts: data holders or owners change over time and delivery issues (e.g. security) can impede access.
  2. Certain data types (such as primary care data) are missing and this has implications for linkage and confidentiality.
  3. Real-time linkage remains problematic as consent is fluid and this raises questions over identifiability and the completeness of datasets.
  4. Currently, it is complicated to access geocoding data but there is potential to simplify this to increase use.
  5. Longitudinal study design needs to consider use of standardised inputs to overcome differences at local and national levels.
  6. There is a need to harmonise data sets and produce scripts that can be re-used to avoid duplication of effort.
  7. There is a clear need for greater provision of education on the data available and how to use it, as well as capacity building to maximise the use of linked data.
  8. We need to reduce parallel learning: people realising how things work, making mistakes, and learning – but having no way of communicating that to others.

Watch the talks from this session

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View the talk illustrations

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