AIHW National Death Index
The National Death Index (NDI) is a database, housed at the Australia Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), which contains records of all deaths occurring in Australia since 1980. These data are obtained from the Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages in each State and Territory. The Index is designed to facilitate the conduct of epidemiological studies and its use is strictly confined to medical research.
BioGrid Australia and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare formed a partnership in 2012 to provide a much needed service for medical research efforts across Australia. This partnership provides a streamlined approach for researchers to access the AIHW National Death Index to obtain date and cause of death information for defined projects.
Project Specific Linkage to NDI
BioGrid uses a Unique Subject Identifier (USI) number to identify patients’ demographic and clinical records. In order to facilitate research and for researchers to link patient records across databases, BioGrid usually shares the USI number with authorised researchers.
AIHW required for this partnership that linkage to the NDI would be project specific linkage, in other words, patients in the project cohort would be given project specific identifiers (PID) that are unique to each project. This fulfils BioGrid’s requirement under the AIHW agreement that:
- Identifiers are unique within the given project,
- Identifiers are generated randomly for each project,
- Identifiers do not have any co-relation between two different projects and
- Identifiers cannot be reverse engineered to identify USI numbers.
This has resulted in BioGrid providing PID numbers for each approved AIHW project.
Recent information from AIHW has indicated that if researchers request ONLY date of death, we may not need to utilise the project specific identifier (PID) for the project cohort. This is subject to approval by the AIHW Ethics Committee.
NDI Linkage Fee
AIHW charges an ethics fee as well as a linkage fee for each project. BioGrid has negotiated favourable terms for its members, this includes both the AIHW ethics and linkage fees as well as BioGrid assisting with and managing your application for access and facilitating the linkage with AIHW, contact us to discuss.
Applying for Access to NDI Data
Each project wishing to access NDI data must submit an application, which includes a technical assessment, to the AIHW Ethics Committee. Five ethics committee meetings take place each year, refer to details below. Submissions are accepted approximately six weeks prior to the meeting dates.
BioGrid will assist with your application to the AIHW Ethics Committee. As the application now requires a technical assessment, we require you to submit your application to BioGrid at least three weeks before the AIHW submission date, as below. If your research project does not have ethics approval, we require you to submit your application to BioGrid sooner to allow sufficient time for your project to receive ethics approval through BioGrid. We have successfully conducted linkage projects under this arrangement; we look forward to assisting members with future projects.
2022 AIHW Ethics Meetings
22 February 2022 (Submissions have already closed)
03 May 2022 (11-Mar-2022 AIHW DISC-approved Technical Assessment submission; 18-Feb-2022 BioGrid submission)
12 July 2022 (20-May-2022 AIHW DISC-approved Technical Assessment submission; 29-Apr-2022 BioGrid submission)
20 September 2022 (29-Jul-2022 AIHW DISC-approved Technical Assessment submission; 08-Jul-2022 BioGrid submission)
06 December 2022 (14-Oct-2022 AIHW DISC-approved Technical Assessment submission; 23-Sep-2022 BioGrid submission)
If you have a project that you would like to access accurate date and cause of death for a specific research project, apply for access through the BioGrid Access Request System. The NDI is listed as a data set to apply for access. BioGrid will then assist you with the application and technical assessment for submission to the AIHW Ethics Committee under our streamlined process with AIHW. Apply today.