Max Rady College of Medicine

Concept: Manitoba Population Research Data Repository (Repository)

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Concept Description

Last Updated: 2021-06-04


    This concept contains a description of what the Manitoba Population Research Data Repository (Repository) is; identifies the way the Repository is structured into six different domains (including links to lists and detailed descriptions of the individual data sets within each domain); discusses Data Quality and the importance of this for the Repository data; describes how data sets in the Repository are linked together; lists a few key publications about the Repository; and discusses and provides a link to a document describing the difference between Repository and Non-Repository data.

What is the Manitoba Population Research Data Repository ?

    The Manitoba Population Research Data Repository is a comprehensive collection of administrative, registry, survey, and other data primarily relating to residents of Manitoba. It was developed to describe and explain patterns of health care and profiles of health and illness, facilitating inter-disciplinary research in areas such as health care, education, social services and justice.

    Administrative health data, for example, hold records for virtually all contacts / services provided through the provincial health care system (including physicians, hospitals, personal care homes, home care, and pharmaceutical prescriptions). The Manitoba Health Services Insurance Plan (MHSIP) maintains a registry of all Manitoba individuals who are registered to receive health care services, and this acts as a population registry for the province of Manitoba.

    MCHP acts as a steward of the information in the Repository for agencies such as Manitoba Health and provides access to the data in the Data Repository for a wide variety of research purposes. Most of the data sets within the Repository are updated on an annual basis.

    NOTE: The term Manitoba Population Research Data Repository is commonly referred to as the Repository or Data Repository. The term Population Health Research Data Repository was used to describe the Repository in MCHP research from September 2000 to November 2016. The new name, Manitoba Population Research Data Repository, reflects the expansion of research into areas beyond health care.

MCHP Data Repository Domains

Linking the Data Sets Together

    Multiple data sets may be required to track individual-level health care utilization accurately, whether across data sets (services provided) or across time (longitudinal study). For example, obtaining a complete picture on the number of angiographies requires reviewing both hospital discharge abstracts and medical services (physician claims) data. In some research, it may be necessary to retrieve clinical, educational, and socio-economic records from a variety of data sets.

    In order to achieve this type of individual-level analyses, a unique, consistent identifier is required throughout all the data sets. This identifier, described in MCHP research as an encrypted Personal Health Identification Number (PHIN), provides full protection of individual privacy and confidentiality while allowing individual-level analyses for research purposes (Roos et al., 2005). For more information on how this identifier is attached to each data set, please read the Record Linkage in Manitoba concept.

Data Quality

    Administrative data are generally evaluated on the completeness of the data set and the quality of the information recorded. This includes measurements of reliability, or the extent of the agreement between data sources. The two major approaches used to evaluate data quality are record linkage / data linkage and re-abstraction. Record linkage joins two or more separate sources of information to specific individuals present on both files: the overall match gives an indication of completeness of data and the degree of agreement between items on both records provides a measure of reliability. Re-abstraction focuses on how reliably information (generally from hospital charts or physician records) moves into computerized form. The Research Registry, which contains longitudinal population-based information for all individuals eligible, or registered, for health insurance benefits through the Manitoba Health Services Insurance Plan, provides key information for record linkage studies. Based on a defined population, both users and non-users of care can be tracked, while accurate identifiers permit linkage with substantive files both for reliability checks and ongoing research (Roos et al., 2005).

    Acquisition Level Data Quality

    When new or updated data sets are acquired and installed in the MCHP Data Repository, it is important to examine the reliability and validity of this data. A semi-automated process of data evaluation has been developed to assess the quality of incoming data at MCHP. For more information, see the MCHP Data Quality web section / information.

Publications about the Repository

    The following contains a list of publications that discuss and describe the Manitoba Population Research Data Repository. Links to the publication abstracts are also provided.

    • Smith M, Roos LL, Burchill C, Turner K, Ostapyk T, Towns D, Hong SP, Jarmasz JS, Ginter J, Martens PJ, Roos NP, Lix LM, Brownell M, Finlayson G, Azimaee M, Soodeen R-A, Nicol JP. Health Services Data: Managing the Data Warehouse: 25 years of experience at the Manitoba Center for Health Policy. Data and Measures in Health Services Research. Springer; 2016. p 1-26. [Abstract]
    • Roos LL, Jarmasz JS, Martens PJ, Katz A, Fransoo R, Soodeen R-A, Smith M, Ginter J, Burchill C, Roos NP, Doupe MB, Brownell M, Lix LM, Finlayson G, Heaman M. Health Services Information: From Data to Policy Impact (25 years of Health Services and Population Health Research at the Manitoba Center for Health Policy). Data and Measures in Health Services Research. Springer; 2016: p 1-20. [Abstract]
    • Roos LL, Brownell M, Lix L, Roos NP, Walld R, MacWilliam L. From health research to social research: Privacy, methods, approaches. Soc Sci Med 2008;66(1):117-129. [Abstract]
    • Roos LL, Gupta S, Soodeen R, Jebamani L (2005): Data quality in an information-rich environment: Canada as an example. Canadian Journal on Aging 24 (Suppl.1):153-170. [Abstract]
    • Roos LL, Menec V, Currie RJ (2004): Policy analysis in an information-rich environment. Soc Sci Med; 58(11): 2231-2241. [Abstract]
    • Roos LL, Nicol JP. A research registry: uses, development, and accuracy. J Clin Epidemiol 1999;52(1):39-47. [Abstract]

Non-Repository Data

    MCHP also maintains a number of non-Repository data sets that are used for individual research projects. These data sets do not become part of the MCHP Repository.

    For more information, please read the following document that describes / distinguishes between Repository and Non-Repository data: Repository versus Non-Repository Data (PDF) documentation.

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Manitoba Centre for Health Policy
Community Health Sciences, Max Rady College of Medicine,
Rady Faculty of Health Sciences,
Room 408-727 McDermot Ave.
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB R3E 3P5 Canada