Research In Action
Research In Action
While distinct statewide administrative data sets can be valuable resources for public health and injury prevention researchers, their usefulness increases exponentially when they are connected to other data sources. By linking records for individuals across—and within—resources, their experiences can be seen within the larger context of their lives. For instance, car crashes can be connected with injury-related hospital visits months later, and injuries from various causes can be identified among people with specific medical conditions. By providing a more holistic picture, these data sets can help answer critical questions to improve public health and safety.
For the past decade I have been working with Dr. Allison E. Curry and her team at CIRP to develop a unique research tool called the New Jersey Safety and Health Outcomes Data Warehouse (NJ-SHO). The NJ-SHO highlights the importance of data linkage to further research, and its development provides a key methodological contribution to advance injury prevention research and improve public health outcomes.
The warehouse includes 22.3 million distinct individuals who have one or more record from 2004 through 2018 in one of six original administrative sources or the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Electronic Health Record (EHR) system. Additionally, we incorporated census tract-level indicators from multiple geographic-based data sources and detailed vehicle information using NHTSA’s Catalog and Vehicle Listing (vPIC) platform.
So far, Dr. Curry and her team have published 30 peer-reviewed manuscripts and reports using the NJ-SHO that have had demonstrable impact on young driver safety and beyond. Our most recent article, published in Injury Prevention, describes the construction of the NJ-SHO, including how the data prep and integration was conducted. We also thought it was important to share the approach we used to evaluate the linkage results to offer guidance to others interested in undertaking data integration.
Accuracy Is Paramount
Although such methodological details are rarely published, this information not only helps researchers understand data used for future analyses but also assures them that the NJ-SHO linkages were conducted with high quality, high true match, and low false non-match proportions. What this means is that records connected to each other truly represent the same person and that few connections between records were missed.
We look forward to continuing to inspire collaborations that utilize the NJ-SHO Data Warehouse to answer critical questions to improve public health, such as those with Brown University's School of Public Health and the Center for Autism Research at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. We encourage those interested in integrating data to keep a broad perspective and to learn more about our research using this rich resource.
Click here to learn more about the NJ-SHO Data Warehouse.
Click here to read abstracts of published studies using the NJ-SHO Data Warehouse.