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Clinical Registries are established to provide a clinically credible means for monitoring and benchmarking healthcare processes and outcomes, to identify areas for improvement, and drive strategies for improving patient care. Clinical Registries are used to assess changes in clinical practice, appropriateness of care and health outcomes over time. The American Heart Association Policy Statement in April 2011 called for expanding the application for existing and future Clinical Registries, with well-designed Clinical Registry programs. Concurrently, in Australia, and similarly within the United States and United Kingdom, there has been an increased focus on performance measurement for quality and patient safety. Within Victoria, the Victorian Clinical Governance Policy Framework outlines clinical effectiveness as one of the four domains of Clinical Governance
As Clinical Registries evaluate effectiveness and safety of patient care by measuring patient outcomes compared with peers, the use of Clinical Registries data to improve a health service’s quality of care seems intuitive. A mixed methods approach was utilised, involving (1) semi-structured interviews and (2) documentation audit in this study conducted at Austin Health, a major tertiary teaching hospital in North-Eastern metropolitan Melbourne, affiliated with the University of Melbourne and various research institutes within Austin LifeSciences.
Although many studies have highlighted the benefits of data collected via individual Clinical Registries, [5,6] the level of voluntary medical staff participation in Clinical Registries at a health service level is yet to be established. The aim of this study was to document the level of medical staff involvement for Clinical Registries within a major tertiary teaching hospital, and the level of reporting into Quality Committees within the organisation.
This study demonstrates that along with a very high level of medical staff participation in Clinical Registries, there is a lack of systematic reporting of Registries data into quality committees beyond unit level, and utilisation of such data to reflect upon practice and drive quality improvement.
Abbreviations: CREPS – Centre for Excellence in Patient Safety; CSU – Clinical Services Unit; HOU – Heads of Unit; VASM – Victorian Audit of Surgical Mortality.