The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

4249.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - 5:35 PM

Abstract #60595

Using record linkage in the District of Columbia to find at-risk Children: Developing DC Kids Link

J. Daniel Welsh, MP and Carole S. Amaning, MPH. Maternal and Family Health Administration (MFHA), DC Department of Health, 825 N. Capitol Street, N.E. 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20002, (202) 442-9356,

Introduction: Government databases store a variety of data on children, but because they are segmented by organizational missions, they contribute to a “silo” effect, where information in one section is not shared or accessible to others. In the District there is no single source on children, special needs children, nor those at-risk. Identifying and locating children at-risk is a difficult public health concern because of the many organizations involved.

Methods: MFHA, within the DC health department, launched a population-based information system designed to link data to identify and describe children. DC Kids Link, a web-based system, uses its newborn screening program as the backbone for the system. Records from one system are linked through a matching process and the cumulated data is stored by age cohorts. DC Kids Link utilizes Microsoft SQL Server in database applications and ColdFusion in web–based applications. Functions include looking up an individual child, conducting record linkage with two data sets, and producing both aggregate data and listings of children fitting selected criteria. The system is funded by Title V and SSDI block grants.

Findings: Linking data from multiple data sources requires political, organizational, planning, and technical skills, along with a little bit of luck and a lot of patience. Operational for less than a year, it has been well received by data partners. Working with partners has led to creating custom reporting to meet specialized needs. A number of organizations have begun using the system to identify children in need of services.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The Use of Technology to Improve Planning for Maternal and Child Services

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA