Cross-sectional study of characteristics of clinical registries in Australia: a resource for clinicians and policy makers


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Abstract

Objectives:To investigate the attributes of Australian clinical quality registries (CQR).Design and setting:Survey of 40 CQRs between September 2015 and April 2016.Participants:CQR lead investigators/project managers.Intervention:None.Main outcome measures:Registry organization, geographical coverage, data quality, management, characteristics, output and outcomes.Results:Of those who responded (34/40; 85.0%), 12 (34.3%) were binational (Australia and New Zealand); 22 (64.7%) were Australian-only registries; and 13 (38.2%) had national coverage. CQRs covered critical care, infection control, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic diseases, procedures and devices, and transplants. Overall, 24/34 CQRs (70.6%) were public sector funded. In total, 14 (41.2%) scored >75% on a composite score developed to assess data quality. Overall, 29/34 (85.3%) produced an annual multi-centred report; only 15/34 (44.1%) produced provider-specific reports. Mortality/survival and quality of life were collected by 82.4 and 32.4% of CQRs, respectively. Most CQRs displayed data in bar/column charts (28/34, 82.4%) and funnel plots (17/34, 50%). Most CQRs adopted an opt-out consent process (n = 17/31; 54.8%). Linear regression indicated that longer duration of CQR was associated with higher data quality (>20 vs 0-5 years coefficient = 4.76, 95% CI: 0.26, 9.26). Opt-in consent was associated with lower data quality (no active consent vs opt-in approval method, coefficient = −5.22, 95% CI: −8.71, −1.72). Six CQRs self-reported having undertaken an economic evaluation of their registry.Conclusion:CQRs varied in geographical coverage; stage of development, approach to recruitment; method and frequency of reporting their output; and data quality assurance. An accreditation system for CQRs would likely assist in recognizing high-quality registries.

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