Big Data

Research using routinely collected health data, which can be linked, is a key strategy which can be used to improve healthcare practice and policy. Australia lags behind many other countries in the use of routinely collected health data for research purposes. 

Centre for Health Research Illawarra Shoalhaven Population (CHRISP)

A research partnership between the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District (ISLHD) & the University of Wollongong (UOW), was established in 2016, to provide ready access to routinely-collected health data to help build research capacity and to translate research findings into policy and practice.  The data held by CHRISP includes 20 routinely collected ISLHD datasets and seven third party provider data sets, access data sets via the CHRISP website

Over 40 CHRISP related projects have focused on the following key themes:

  • High use – trends and variation in health service utilisation and demand
  • Chronic conditions – including chronic kidney disease, dementia, cancer
  • Older people - frail elderly and end-of-life care
  • Mental health conditions including alcohol and substance use
  • Quality and Safety - adverse events and health care associated complications
  • Evaluation – service, policy and/or program evaluation

SIMLR Cohort Study

Dr Darren Mayne (ISLHD) and Prof Andrew Bonney lead this project that investigates the geographic distribution of health risk indicators (e.g. at risk BMI, HbA1c or serum cholesterol levels) in the Illawarra and Shoalhaven regions of NSW. The study utilises a large, longitudinal, community-derived database of geographic, demographic and biological data concerning adult residents in the study area collected by Southern.IML Pathology in routine practice. Under strict ethical and privacy controls, the data are geographically coded, de-identified and analysed using geographic and spatial research methods.

The study is unique in its near-census coverage of adult residents in the study area, its longitudinal nature (2004 onwards), inclusion of anthropometric data and availability of small-area geographic identifiers for spatial analysis.

Delirium-CKD data linkage project

This project aim is to determine the incidence of delirium in CKD patients admitted in ICU. The incidence of delirium in intensive care (ICU) patients has been shown to vary between 3.6% and 54.9%. The onset of delirium during hospitalisation is known to have a number of undesirable impacts including increased length of stay in ICUs, premature relocation to a nursing home upon discharge and mortality. Available data shows that The Illawarra – Shoalhaven region has one of the highest rates of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in Australia. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW)(9), 70% hospitalisations among individuals living with chronic kidney disease (excluding dialysis) occur in those 65 years and over.

This study will utilise data from CHeReL datasets and the cohort population of interest is older individuals aged 65 years and older who are at an increased risk of developing delirium following hospitalisation.  

Theme Leader: Professor Judy Mullan (School of Medical, Indigenous and Health Sciences)


External HIRC affiliated Researchers

  • Dr Darren Mayne (ISLHD)
  • Dr Hicham Hassan (Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District)
  • Dr Karamuthil Murali (Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District)
  • Dr Natalie Smith (Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District)