The Population Health Research Data Repository (Repository)
housed at MCHP is a comprehensive collection of administrative, registry, survey, and other data primarily relating to residents of Manitoba. It was developed to describe and explain patterns of health care and profiles of health and illness, facilitating inter-sectoral research in areas such as health care, education, and social services. Administrative health data, for example, hold records for virtually all contacts with the provincial health care system, the Manitoba Health Services Insurance Plan
(including physicians, hospitals, personal care homes, home care, and pharmaceutical prescriptions) of all registered individuals. MCHP acts as a steward of the information in the Repository for agencies such as Manitoba Health.
The MCHP Repository consists of databases grouped into the following six domains:
- Health - The Health domain consists of databases grouped into three categories: administrative, survey, and clinical. The primary health data provider for this domain is Manitoba Health.
- Education - The Education domain consists of Manitoba grade school/high school and post-secondary college databases.
- Social - The Social domain consists of databases grouped into three categories: Healthy Child Manitoba, Community and Social Services, and Survey social data.
- Justice - The Justice databases represent the newest addition to the Repository (2009), currently containing data on the Incident Reporting System.
- Registries - The Registries domain consists of four databases: the Manitoba Health Insurance Registry, Vital Statistics Mortality, Provider Registry, and Metis Registry.
- Database Support Files - A variety of data files in this category provide support for: a) working with databases generally (e.g., population counts for denominators) and b) database-specific support files such as the Drug Identification Number Master file which is used for working with the drug data.
Standard summary descriptions for each of the databases and data support files in the Data Repository are available through links (as they are completed) in the above database list. These descriptions include the data provider/agency, purpose and method of the data collection, size, years, and scope of the database, access requirements, and database highlights. Links are provided to more detailed information such as data preparation tips and analytical techniques as available.
Adminstrative data are generally evaluated on the completeness of the data set and the quality of the information recorded. This includes measurements of reliability, or the extent of the agreement between data sources. The two major approaches used to evaluate data quality are record linkage and re-abstraction. Record linkage joins two or more separate sources of information to specific individuals present on both files: the overall match gives an indication of completeness of data and the degree of agreement between items on both records provides a measure of reliability. Re-abstraction focuses on how reliably information (generally from hospital charts or physician records) moves into computerized form. The Research Registry, which contains longitudinal population-based information for all individuals eligible, or registered, for health insurance benefits through the Manitoba Health Services Insurance Plan, provides key information for record linkage studies. Based on a defined population, both users and non-users of care can be tracked, while accurate identifiers permit linkage with substantive files both for reliability checks and ongoing research (Roos et al., 2005).
Acquisition Level Data Quality
When new data is acquired, it is important to examine the reliability and validity of this data. A semi-automated process of data evaluation has been developed to assess the quality of incoming data at MCHP.
- Record Linkage- Multiple databases may be required to track utilization accurately, whether across data bases or across time (longitudinal study), raising issues related to record linkage. Obtaining complete data for angiographies, for example, requires accessing both hospital discharge abstracts and physician claims. A unique consistent identifier is needed to retrieve clinical, educational, and socioe-economic records from various databases for a given cohort (all with full protection of individual privacy and confidentiality) (Roos et al., 2005)
Publications about the Repository
- Roos LL, Brownell M, Lix L, Roos NP, Walld R, MacWilliam L. From health research to social research: Privacy, methods, approaches. Soc Sci Med 2008;66(1):117-129. [Abstract]
- Roos LL, Gupta S, Soodeen R, Jebamani L (2005): Data quality in an information-rich environment: Canada as an example. Canadian Journal on Aging 24 (Suppl.1):153-170. [Abstract]
- Roos LL, Menec V, Currie RJ (2004): Policy analysis in an information-rich environment. Soc Sci Med; 58(11): 2231-2241. [Abstract]
- Roos LL, Nicol JP. A research registry: uses, development, and accuracy. J Clin Epidemiol 1999;52(1):39-47. [Abstract]
Much of the information in this database protocol is based on documentation prepared by J.Pat Nicol and Charles Burchill.
Last updated December 18, 2009