Better burn care for all Australians - Further advancing patient care
Monitoring the incidence, management and outcomes of burns patients is crucial to providing evidence based best practice and consistent care for survivors of these devastating injuries. The bi-national burns registry and burns quality improvement program provides a world-leading repository for burns data writes Heather Cleland, President of the Australian & New Zealand Burn Association.
Burn injury is a significant component of the overall burden of injury in Australia with approximately 50,000 burns related hospital admissions per year. The management of significant burns requires immediate emergency and surgical treatment, followed by intensive nursing and rehabilitation input which may comprise many months of care. There is great potential for permanent disability and the need for ongoing care and support that spans decades, highlighting the need for primary prevention efforts and improved treatment.
Good critical care and surgical management means there are now more survivors of severe burn injury with significant permanent disability. Because of the long-term social and personal costs of poor outcomes after burn injury, there is a pressing need to measure variations in practice and the outcomes resulting from those variations. Monitoring the incidence, management and outcomes of burns patients is crucial to providing evidence based best practice and consistent care for survivors of these devastating injuries.
Bi-National Burns Registry: Beginnings
In 2004, Australian and New Zealand Burns Association (ANZBA) clinicians established a pilot database to collect basic epidemiological data from major burns centres in Australia and New Zealand. This demonstrated the feasibility of a project designed to collect data, and the potential for it to contribute to implementation of consistent standards of burn care across both countries.
In 2008, with financial support from ANZBA and the Julian Burton Burns Trust (JBBT), the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at Monash University assumed management and custodianship of the registry. Governance processes and reporting policies were established, the dataset was revised and technical improvements were implemented.
In 2008, the registry successfully tendered to evaluate the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care’s (ACSQHC) pilot registries project. This project enabled the Bi-NBR to evaluate the Draft Operating Principles and Technical Standards for Australian Clinical Quality Registries, and assisted in the further development of the burns registry as a clinical quality registry. It also facilitated the progression towards electronic transfer of registry data from participating sites, and the development and implementation of a pilot long term outcomes project.
Funding from the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust (HMST) provided further support for developing local burns databases for the Alfred and Royal Children’s Hospital in Victoria, with the establishment of additional functionality in the web-based information system to provide standardised reports and data linkage and extraction functions for the state wide burns services.
Please click here to read the rest of this article in the Spring 2013 Edition of Australian Hospital & Healthcare Bulletin.
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