The goal of ending homelessness requires good data.
Health-care institutions and community agencies each routinely collect and store information about their clients, such as how often and why they visit the Emergency Department, and how often they use shelters. These data are currently siloed within separate databases. Once linked, these data can paint a broader picture of a group’s experiences and can identify where there are actionable gaps in services.
How feasible is it to link community-level and administrative health data about people who are homeless? How accurate will this linkage be? Once linked, are these data of sufficient quality to answer relevant questions and help inform effective program and policy solutions?
To find out, we are enrolling 500 participants in a cross-sectional study conducted at community agencies in Toronto. We will:
- Ask participants if they would consent to record linkage and determine the proportion of participants who agree to linking.
- Link data from consenting participants to administrative health data held at ICES.
Our findings will enable service providers, researchers and municipal departments to partner and develop data than can be used to inform effective, appropriate program and policy solutions.