Knowledge of the interface between acute hospital care, community care and residential aged care is important in order to ensure that older people receive the most appropriate care. However, existing national data provide poor information on the movements of clients between the sectors. During 2001 and 2002 the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare explored the feasibility of linking - without using names - the currently available national hospital morbidity and residential aged care collections to produce a linked data set for examining key policy issues. This report presents the results of these investigations. The study was carried out under the auspices of the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council Working Group on the Care of Older Australians.