Background to the study:

  1. Statistical analysis of movement from hospital to residential aged care would provide a strong evidence base to inform policy development for the hospital–aged care interface. Linking currently available data for such analysis has the advantages of reduced cost, timeliness and no additional data collection imposition.
  2. Data linkage of records for individuals is commonly carried out using detailed demographic data, including name and/or a person identification number. While neither name data nor a unique person identifier are available on the national datasets for both the hospital and residential aged care systems for such data linkage, a range of demographic and event data is available.
  3. Two earlier projects by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare investigated the theoretical and practical feasibility of a linkage strategy (termed event-based linkage) which uses demographic data (excluding name) and geographic and event data to link episode records from the hospital and residential aged care national databases.