Institute Research

Research Database

It has been noted that the NHMRC has outlined how the structure for a suitable audit form could be structured and planned. The Institute has adapted as its starting point for data collection the NHMRC audit form and completion guidelines (NHMRC 2005).

The detailed coding for each data element is not available here due confidentiality, however the Research Database Design Specification ensures data is numeric or coded (codified) with minimal use of free text fields, to facilitate cross-tabulation of data.

The research database is implemented as a relational database designed with a view to being adaptable and extensible if future data requirements are added. Consideration has also been given to ensuring there will be easy internationalization of the software.

Information is stored in an encrypted format. The databases have system-level security and data protection.

Data harmonization refers to using standard coding systems for data which permit the interchange and comparison of data sets from different authors. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) provides a central repository of metadata including data about health care data. This is known as the Metadata Online Registry (METeOR). By adopting the coding used in this registry the Institute aims to ensure that the data in its research database can be compared to other external data sets, for example cancer registries.