The linkage of hospital and police information on road crash: an investigation of alternative methods

By linking together data routinely collected by the various authorities dealing with road crash casualties, comprehensive information can be assembled for the analysis of outcomes of road crashes. The objective of this study was to assess the feasibility of linking hospital and police records which do not contain casualty names. A three month sample of records from the Western Australian Road Injury Database (RID), linked previously using named data and the Generalised Interactive Record Linkage System (GIRLS), was used to investigate different linkage methods. The effect of the level of identifying information on the quantity and quality of links was tested by re-linking the records under different conditions. The GIRLS links were used as the 'gold standard' against which all subsequent linkages using different methods were assessed. It was found that the dates of crash occurrence and hospital admission, even when used in conjunction with age and sex for matching hospital and police records, was insufficient to produce reliable links without the added discriminating power of the family name of the casualty. The false positive rate of linkage of hospital and police records was 56 percent, under conditions which derived a true positive link rate of 52 percent using variables other than name. Based on the results of this study, it was recommended that if hospital and police data are to be linked, both data sets should include family name ideally in full form or, less desirably, in coded form.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 30p
  • Serial:
    • Issue Number: RIIP-7

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01435540
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • ISBN: 0642227047
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 24 2012 7:04PM