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Importance of collecting accurate patient procedure data outlined at recent joint replacement conference

Registry’s medical director outlines critical need for accurate and valid recording of joint replacement operations for patient safety 

9 February 2017

The National Joint Registry (NJR) held another successful one-day educational conference on improving data quality and collection for hospital staff as part of its events programme. The regional event, which took place in the West Midlands at The Hawthorns, West Bromwich, on Wednesday (8 February 2017) attracted over 90 key stakeholders involved with joint replacement surgery from both the NHS and independent sector.

The action packed programme included presentations on improving data quality, service developments from the registry and also sessions on how the NJR works in practice for patients. NJR data is a fundamental driver to inform improved quality of care for patients and the event was designed to help support hospital staff in understanding data as a tool for quality improvement.  

Data quality top of the agenda

The NJR has implemented a national programme aimed at assessing data completeness and quality within the registry for NHS hospitals and independent providers. Now in its second year for NHS hospitals, the data quality audit has for the first time allowed the registry to compare patient record for record procedures recorded in a local hospital’s database (Patient Administration System) with what is submitted to the registry. The audit’s aim is to investigate the accurate number of arthroplasty procedures submitted compared to the number carried out.

Commenting on the regional event and the data quality agenda, NJR medical director, Mr Martyn Porter, said: “Improving patient safety is of the upmost importance and something all hospital staff take very seriously. The data quality audit has given hospitals – now both in the NHS and independent sector – the opportunity to demonstrate the highest possible standards of clinical governance that we are all striving to achieve. 

“With close to 90 per cent of Trusts and Local Health Boards completing the data audit in its inaugural year, it shows it can be done even at a time of unprecedented pressure within the health service. Importantly, what we have seen as a result is improved data accuracy at a local level which ultimately means better informed surgeons and increased patient safety. 

“The data audit is just one way that the NJR is helping organisations ensure their data quality. The NJR’s regional events programme supports this agenda.  Patients and the public can be assured that the NJR is working to collect and report upon the most complete, accurate data possible across all hospitals in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man.”

Patient’s perspective

The patient’s perspective continues to be a key session at all NJR regional conferences. Sue Musson and Gillian Coward, NJR Steering Committee patient members, delivered a lively presentation which posed the question ‘what do patients want from the NJR?’ Outlining her own experiences, Sue, recounted her journey as a young hip replacement patient and how having access to NJR data, online resources – such as the NJR’s Public and Patient Guide – and other patients’ experiences was an enormous help.

Elaine Young, director of operations for the NJR, who opened the day, said: “The NJR’s regional conference programme continues to provide a unique opportunity for orthopaedic staff, in all sorts of hospital roles, to discuss the registry’s valuable contribution and how it can continue to develop. 

“All those involved with the NJR are committed to improving the quality of the data to ensure the most robust evidence is available to monitor the performance of implants, the effectiveness of different types of surgery and to improve clinical standards — all with a sharp focus on patient outcomes. Our conference programme supports this by placing a strong emphasis on local case studies and constructive reflection, allowing the audience to participate in meaningful discussion with the key issues affecting their engagement with the NJR. 

“Importantly, this means we can work together to support better data quality in the NJR, but also to outline what surgeons and hospital staff need to do with the data when it is reported and analysed.”

Photos from the event can be found online here >
Live tweets from the event can be found online here >
Click to download the NJR presentations from the event >

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