Main Article Content
The importance of the determinants of health to health outcomes has long been established. Historically, data from each of these sectors has been captured in disparate, often siloed, sources. Attempts to integrate these data have faced a number of challenges including technical, legislative and interpretative barriers, creating inefficiencies and inhibiting knowledge sharing. Despite this, there have been notable successes where intersectoral data and health data have been brought together in a meaningful way. The establishment of strong partnerships, with academia, governments, privacy and legal sectors, and other bodies, across sectors has been key to this success. These partnerships ensure data are integrated, analyzed, and interpreted accurately and appropriately, while also leveraging existing investments and expertise.
Objectives and Approach
The objective of this session is to explore the role of partnerships throughout the data integration life cycle, from initial discussions, to data integration, through to connecting research output to policy impact. Each of the presenters will discuss the successes, barriers and mitigation strategies they have experienced across different jurisdictions using real world examples.
Health research institutes globally are increasingly able to access routinely collected intersectoral data from non-health sectors. In each institute, data are unique, complex and have been collected in a manner consistent with the needs of the sector. As health research institutes work to understand the data structures and determine the best way to link, use and interpret the information according to national and international best practice guidelines, it has become clear that it is critical to undertake this in partnership with experts from each sector, who understand how the data was collected and can guide appropriate interpretation. In addition, these partnerships have enabled the connection of policy priorities in other sectors with research done in the health sector using intersectoral data. For example, in addition to supporting government health departments, health research institutes have collaborated with other government ministries including immigration, social services, and education. This session will present real world examples from local (provincial), national and international contexts, and highlight a novel data platform, being developed to minimize barriers to data access and use across sectors and jurisdictions.
Conclusion / Implications
The participants on this panel will demonstrate the importance of partnership throughout the data integration life cycle when working with intersectoral data using real world examples. Collaboration increases the value of integrated data to both health and non-health sectors, through the connection of policy priorities and support of research across the determinants of health.
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