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Data Systems and Injury Surveillance

1. A profile of injury deaths in NSW

Centre Investigators
Marcia Schmertmann, Caroline Finch

A report was released in November 2004 which provided an up to date epidemiological profile of injury deaths in NSW for the period of 1998 to 2002. Data was obtained from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) for all E-coded death record. All death cases for the major injury mechanisms were described and age and gender-specific death frequencies and rates calculated.

2. Data linkage trial

Centre Investigators
Soufiane Boufous, Marcia Schmertmann

A project to assess the feasibility of linking police crash records with compulsory third party insurance claim. A trial linkage exercise was conducted using accident records obtained from both the RTA Traffic Accident Data System (TADS) and the Motor Accidents Compulsory Third Party (CTP) for 1997. Each data set contains several files concerning information about the accident, the road users involved and the type of vehicle involved. Of these files, only the file containing information about the accieent itself was used because it was the easiest way to link related records in the two datasets. These two datasets were matched using a series of incremented deterministic linkage queries in Microsoft Access. The following fields were used in the linkage queries: data accident; date and time of accident; date, time and street location of accident; street and date of accident. This exercise matched roughly one out of every three CTP records to a TADS record. It was concluded that in order to increase the proportion of records matched, a probabilistic matching procedure should be used.

3. Methodological issues in the reporting of injury

Centre Investigator
Ann Williamson, Soufiane Boufous

A paper exploring some of the problems with widely used criteria for defining injury in population datasets was published by Injury Prevention. Data from the New South Wales Inpatient Statistics Collection was analysed. Data was elected for the period from the 1st July 1999 to 30th June 2000, including an internal record linkage of the same dataset using probabilistic data linkage techniques. Approximately 28% of records with non-injury primary diagnosis include a nature of injury diagnosis in a subsequent diagnostic field. This figure increased to more than half (53%) of discharges for medical injuries. The internal linkage showed that 7% of discharges were repeat admissions for the same ICD-10 injury code and that 14% were repeat admissions for any ICD-10 injury code. The proportions of repeat admissions varied according to the type and the mechanism of injury.



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