Data Linkage Policy

Applicable to: This policy is applicable to WA health entities.

Description: The WA health system is committed to ensuring the highest standards are upheld when using personal information for data linkage, to protect the privacy of individuals. The purpose of this policy is to establish minimum data linkage standards for WA health entities creating linkage keys to enable the integration of WA health system information.

The policy ensures that, where WA health system information is used to create linkage keys and produce integrated datasets using data linkage keys, it is done so in accordance with applicable standards and industry best practice such as adopting the National best practice guidelines when dealing with data linkage activities related to Aboriginal people when developing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags.

This policy applies to the creation of linkage keys. Linkage keys are a unique identifier generated via approved data linkage methodologies to facilitate the integration of linked datasets.

This policy has been established to ensure compliance with Accredited Data Service Provider requirements so that best practice protocols and the separation principle are adopted when undertaking linkage activities using Commonwealth data.

This policy aligns with the Australian Privacy Principles, as set out in the Privacy Act 1988.

This policy is a mandatory requirement for Health Service Providers under the Information Management Policy Framework pursuant to section 26(2)(k) of the Health Services Act 2016.

This policy is also a mandatory requirement for the Department of Health pursuant to section 29 of the Public Sector Management Act 1994.Methods of data integration which do not utilise linkage keys, such as data matching processes, fall outside the scope of this policy. The policy does not apply to data matching activities that generate integrated data using existing variables, or any unique identifiers that have not been generated via data linkage methodologies utilising specialised software-driven probabilistic processes.

Date of effect: 09 May 2024

Policy Framework

Related documents

Supporting information