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How did you merge the data together?

I would be interested how you merged the data together. What characteristics did you use to create quasi-identifiers? If you could create unique quasi-identifiers to merge the various sets of data together could someone link the data to some identifiable database compromising the privacy of the patients?

Just wondering. I know it is a concern with the use of large administrative databases.

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1 Answer
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Accepted answer

Each individual registered with Manitoba Health has a unique 9-digit identifier called PHIN (Personal Health Identification Number), which is used for all health care encounters including filling prescriptions at community pharmacies. This number is “scrambled” at data source before the data are transferred into the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy Repository for research purposes. In this way data are completely anonymized, however, the “scrambled” identifier still allows linkage across all various databases in the Repository. As an additional measure to protect privacy, we suppress cells that contain less than 6 counts.

Thank you for you question. Let me know if you would like additional information.

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