Linking Data Today for a Better Tomorrow

I love seeing jobs I’ve worked on come to publication.

It is rare for an editor to be brought in at the beginning of the process and to contribute to structure and intention. And in my experience, it shows a smart and savvy team who works this way.

So producing the PHRN Investment Plan 2023-2028 was an absolute joy, as I was able to work with Nicola and Felicity from the Population Health Research Net (PHRN) right from the beginning.

The Population Health Research Network

Most people have no idea who the PHRN is, but they do incredibly important work. They are a part of Australia’s National Research Infrastructure (I worked on the 2021 Roadmap) and in their own words:

PHRN is a national network of data linkage units, a secure data laboratory and e-research services which support researchers access to linked population data. …we work nationally to address Australia’s national science, research and health priorities to benefit not only Australia’s economy, but also the health and wellbeing of all Australians.

Data linkage is a method of bringing together information from different sources but relating to the same individual or event. PHRN data linkage units link existing information from different health and health related data collections to provide data to researchers approved research.

Their research can address issues such as:

There is also a fantastic case study in the Investment Plan that illustrates how linked data indicated who to target in vaccination campaigns (it’s third-born children).

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