NJR Data Quality Committee (DQC)

Chair – Mr Derek Pegg

Derek Pegg
Derek Pegg
Chair NJR Data Quality Committee

Interim Chair’s Report – Mr Tim Wilton

The year 2020/21 has proven a somewhat challenging in many respects for monitoring and improving data quality for national audits of all kinds. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic there was an immediate and massive impact on arthroplasty throughput, but this was followed rapidly by interventions from NHS England designed to allow hospitals to focus maximum attention on managing the pandemic. These interventions included instructions initially to all NHS trusts to cease entering data into the audits to release staff for other purposes. Happily this did not have as marked an effect as might have been the case for the NJR data, as the case numbers initially fell so dramatically that those cases which were in fact done were largely still entered by the data entry staff as usual.

The NJR data quality audit was continued, after an initial pause during spring 2020, and the automation of the audit process was rolled out to include independent hospitals. Towards the end of 2020 the automation process was also rolled out to include the other joints: shoulders, elbows and ankles, in addition to hips and knees.

Particular issues with data quality have been identified with certain segments of the database including reverse shoulders, elbows, and dual-mobility hips. The reverse shoulder issue has been addressed by the new shoulder implant classification developed in collaboration with BESS and this should hopefully now enable a comprehensive reconciliation of the reverse shoulders in the database.

A pilot elbow replacement audit was completed with the assistance of orthopaedic surgeon Adam Watts and Wrightington Hospital, and this proved successful in correcting the data where there were inaccuracies. That process will now be extended to the rest of the NJR regions. With additional HES data for comparison it should now be possible to reconcile the whole elbow database which will then become the largest and most useful database of elbow replacements in the world. Difficulties with coding multi-compartmental partial knees has been rectified within the data-entry system but there have been few registered, due perhaps to a combination of COVID-19 and changes to some surgeons’ practice. This is to be the subject of debate at BASK during 2021 in order to resolve any remaining issues.

Due to the difficulties with the data entry suspension in-year due to COVID, some units have struggled to meet the deadline for our NJR data quality award, and this deadline was therefore extended so that units who meet the required data standard for an extension have still been able to achieve the data quality levels necessary to receive their data quality award.

I am delighted to announce that from 1 April 2021 Derek Pegg was formally appointed to Chair the DQC and we look forward to his energy and enthusiasm taking data quality in the NJR to even greater heights.

Then Interim Chair Mr Tim Wilton – 2021

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