In Australia, 2.7 million surgical procedures are performed annually. Historically, a lack of perioperative data standardisation and infrastructure has limited pooling of routinely collected data across institutions. We surveyed Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) Clinical Trials Network hospitals to investigate current and potential uses of perioperative electronic medical record data for research and quality assurance. A targeted survey was sent to 131 ANZCA Clinical Trials Network–affiliated hospitals in Australia. The primary aim was to map current electronic data collection methods and data utilisation in six domains of the perioperative pathway. The survey response rate was 32%. Electronic data recording in the six domains ranged from 19% to 85%. Where electronic data exist, the ability of anaesthesiology departments to export them for analysis ranged from 27% to 100%. The proportion of departments with access to data exports that are regularly exporting the data for quality assurance or research ranged from 13% to 58%. The existence of a perioperative electronic medical record does not automatically lead to the data being used to measure and improve clinical outcomes. The first barrier is clinician access to data exports. Even when this barrier is overcome, a large gap remains between the proportion of departments able to access data exports and those using the data regularly to inform and improve clinical practice. We believe this gap can be addressed by establishing a national perioperative outcomes registry to lead high-quality multicentre registry research and quality assurance in Australia.
- Anesthesiology, Surgery, Electronic Health Records, Australia, Routinely Collected Health Data, Registries