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NSW Public Health Bulletin archive

Health Statistics NSW: getting the right balance between privacy and small numbers in a web-based reporting system Volume 23 Issue 1-2

James P. Scandol, Helen A. Moore

NSW Public Health Bulletin 23(2) 1-4 Published: 28 March 2012

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About the author/s

James P. Scandol | Centre for Epidemiology and Research, NSW Ministry of Health

Helen A. Moore | Centre for Epidemiology and Research, NSW Ministry of Health


Health Statistics NSW is a new web-based application developed by the Centre for Epidemiology and Research at the NSW Ministry of Health. The application is designed to be an efficient vehicle for the timely delivery of health statistics to a diverse audience including the general public, health planners, researchers, students and policy analysts. The development and implementation of this web application required the consideration of a series of competing demands such as: the public interest in providing health data while maintaining the privacy interests of the individuals whose health is being reported; reporting data at spatial scales of relevance to health planners while maintaining the statistical integrity of any inferences drawn; the use of hardware and software systems which are publicly accessible, scalable and robust, while ensuring high levels of security. These three competing demands and the relationships between them are discussed in the context of Health Statistics NSW.