Centre for Data Linkage

CDL logo

The Centre for Data Linkage (CDL) is an integral part of the PHRN and is the main data linkage facility for national projects run under the PHRN collaboration.

Hosted by the Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute (CHIRI) at Curtin University in Western Australia, the CDL is responsible for enabling linkage between jurisdictional datasets, and between these datasets and research datasets for the purpose of health and health related research projects. The CDL does not hold any data collections, its role is that of linkage.

A team of data linkage experts has been established at CDL and is actively involved in the design, development and testing of this state-of-the-art national data linkage facility.


In addition to its important role as a secure national data linkage facility, the CDL is also responsible for:

  • research and review of various linkage models and technology landscapes to determine the best model for the PHRN collaboration
  • assisting with the secure delivery of national linked data to researchers
  • providing technical advice and assistance to other PHRN data linkage units and key committees
  • review and development of data quality assurance tools

The CDL has also been involved in:

  • evaluation and reporting of commercial and in-house linkage software
  • development of a security and risk management framework and IT Security plan to ensure safe handling of data during the linkage process
  • linkage of data for the inaugural PHRN Proof of Concept collaboration

Since its establishment in 2009 the CDL has already made significant progress and is well on its way to achieving further success. Current and future activities include:

  • continued testing of its linkage capabilities via involvement in the current and planned PHRN Proof of Concept collaboration
  • further development of its IT infrastructure
  • ongoing building, testing and provision of production components and leading-edge software and technology platforms
  • further development of models and plans on data acquisition and linkage and data management systems
  • establishment of a geo-coding capability, involving the testing of geo-coding standardisation data and an investigation into the influence and impact of geocoding on linkage quality.