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Research

Use of Health Roundtable Data For Research

The Health Roundtable inpatient episode data base is one of the largest non-governmental collections of hospital operational activity in the world, adding over 4.5 million records per year for over 130 major public hospital facilities across Australia and New Zealand. Data are available from 1996 to 2012 for 15 of the member organisations, and for at least four years for almost all other members. The database has a wealth of diagnosis, procedure, and demographic data linked to hospital stays, and provides a mechanism to track episodes of the same patient over time for many member organisations. (However, there are no direct
patient or hospital identifiers in the datasets.)

Extracts from the database are available to researchers who agree to abide by the following
requirements:

  1. All research project requests must be approved by the General Manager of The Health Roundtable in advance, using the principles of the Health Roundtable Honour Code to assess the potential benefits versus risks to members. The Honour Code requires that the data not be used to the detriment of any member organisation.

  2. Data provided to researchers will exclude hospital and jurisdictional identifiers in the dataset to avoid the possibility of disclosure. Only the General Manager of The Health Roundtable will have the ability to decode the information for the benefit of the member organisations.

  3. All research products are to be circulated to member organisations for comment prior to any submission for external publication. Any requests by members to remove their data from the analysis must be honoured, and any request by an organisational member to terminate the research project will be forwarded to the Board of Directors for resolution. The Board will consider all submissions regarding the dispute, and will make a final, binding decision regarding the use of Roundtable data in the project.

  4. All research must acknowledge the source of data as The Health Roundtable, and the final versions of the research must be freely available to all member organisations at no cost to them or to The Health Roundtable.

  5. Researchers must provide a free, non-exclusive license to The Health Roundtable to use the methodologies developed as part of the research to enable the Roundtable to continue or expand the research to other member organisations or time periods. A copy of algorithms, computer source code, and step-by-step instructions shall be submitted to The Health Roundtable when the research products are circulated to member organisations prior to submission for external publication.

  6. Data provided to researchers by The Health Roundtable must be used only for the purpose identified in the research application. No secondary usage is permitted without separate approval. All research is to be completed within 12 months of receipt of the data. 

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