Enhancing data quality through the NJR audit process

Chris Boutlon, NJR Deputy Director of Operations, talks about the background to the NJR Data Quality audit.

Related Documents

NJR data quality audits for data completeness

NJR data creates the ability to drive forward change, influence best practice, undertake important research and ultimately maximise patient safety and outcomes. High-quality data are the foundation of any joint replacement registry and now with just under 4 million records our valuable data is a fundamental driver to help inform improved quality of care for patients, so it is imperative that the data provides an accurate picture.

The NJR’s programme of work to improve the quality of our data has been a key focus in recent years, driven through the NJR’s ‘Supporting Data Quality Strategy’. Key to this strategy has been our national programme aimed at assessing data completeness and quality within the registry and we conduct our audit programme to retrospectively check the quality of data within all hospitals reporting to the registry, on an annual basis.

The NJR’s Data Quality Audit has been running since 2014 as an annual activity that comprises a local hospital providing an extract of data from the local hospital administration system. This data is then compared (or matched) against the NJR registry data already submitted by the hospital and any missing records and any discrepancies in data are reported to the hospital within an audit tool for these to be corrected.

Moving to an automated process for audit in 2019 enabled users to upload the PAS data file directly to the NJR via the system and to then view the results of the audit on screen. This has made the process more straightforward for hospitals, giving them greater usability and control of locally submitted data. This also enables the accessibility to submit and check data at any time during the year and therefore maintain quality compliance figures throughout the year and also serves as an early alarm for any potential missing records, enabling timely action to address this.
We encourage hospitals to achieve our high targets in these audits through our Quality Data Provider Scheme – you can find out about the scheme and the achievement targets we set annually here.

Any queries regarding data quality audits can be addressed to Maggie Tate, Data Quality Officer for the NJR at Maggie.Tate@necsws.com

We have published a paper on how we have developed the NJR data quality audit programme here: https://online.boneandjoint.org.uk/doi/full/10.1302/2633-1462.39.BJO-2022-0051.R1

Other NJR Audits

We recently conducted a dedicated audit of elbow data, to ensure our data was the best it could be. You can find more about this audit here.

We will be continuing a similar audit of shoulder replacement surgery in into 2024. You can find more about this audit here.

The NJR Quality Data Provider Scheme

The ‘NJR Quality Data Provider’ (DQP) scheme has been devised to offer hospitals public recognition for achieving excellence in supporting patient safety standards through their compliance with the mandatory NJR data submission quality audit process.

To gain DQP status hospitals are required to meet targets for best practice, increase engagement and awareness of the importance of quality data collection and embed the ethos that thorough and accurate data ultimately enables the NJR to develop improved patient outcomes. By awarding the NJR Quality Data Provider certificates annually at the end of the audit process, the scheme rewards only those hospitals that have achieved our stringent targets.

You can find out more about the award achievement criteria here

Bishops Wood Hospital theatre team posing with their National Joint Registry Quality Data Provider Award.
Theatre staff at Bishops Wood Hospital, holding their Certificate upon achieving Quality Data Provider status.

If awarded, the emblem seen on the left-hand side of this page is also placed on their hospital dashboard page on the NJR’s Surgeon and Hospital Profile website, here. The website displays orthopaedic data, which is published on an annual basis, for hospitals where any joint replacement operations are carried out, in the geographical areas where the NJR is operational. We also provide the emblem for the hospital’s own website and support for promotion through both their own and NJR media channels.

Please get in touch with us if you have any queries about the Data Quality Provider award scheme at communication@njr.org.uk

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