Statistics Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Evaluation of the coverage of linked Canadian Community Health Survey and hospital inpatient records

Warning View the most recent version.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please "contact us" to request a format other than those available.

by Michelle Rotermann



Evaluation of the coverage that results from linking routinely collected administrative hospital data with survey data is an important preliminary to undertaking analyses based on the linked file.  

Data and methods

To evaluate the coverage of the linkage between data from cycle 1.1 of the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) and in-patient hospital data (Health Person-Oriented Information or HPOI), the number of people admitted to hospital according to HPOI was compared with the weighted estimate for CCHS respondents who were successfully linked to HPOI. Differences between HPOI and the linked and weighted CCHS estimate indicated linkage failure and/or undercoverage.


According to HPOI, from September 2000 through November 2001, 1,572,343 people (outside Quebec) aged 12 or older were hospitalized.  Weighted estimates from the linked CCHS, adjusted for agreement to link and plausible health number, were 7.7% lower.  Coverage rates were similar for males and females.  Provincial rates did not differ from those for the rest of Canada, although differences were apparent for the territories.  Coverage rates were significantly lower among people aged 75 or older than among those aged 12 to 74.    


coverage, data collection, databases, health surveys, hospital records, inpatients, medical records, probabilistic linkage


Record linkage is used in health studies to obtain more complete information, to fill gaps in existing datasets, and/or to improve data quality. For instance, prospective death clearance of survey respondents, study cohorts or administrative data sources, such as inpatient hospital records, have made it possible to study associations between death and factors such as lifestyle, occupation, treatment modalities, patient histories and geography. [Full text]


Michelle Rotermann (1-613-951-3166; is with the Health Information and Research Division at Statistics Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0T6