Enhancing Joint Replacement Outcomes Through Registry Linkage with National Health Administrative Data in Australia

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Katherine Duszynski
Stephen E Graves
Nicole Pratt
Maria Inacio
Richard de Steiger
Ian Harris
Ilana Ackerman
Louisa Jorm
Michelle Lorimer
Aarti Gulyani


Monitoring of joint replacement (JR) data from the Australian Orthopaedic Association National Joint Replacement Registry (AOANJRR) has reduced revision rates and improved surgical practice. Outcome assessment post-arthroplasty is limited however, to revision (reoperation) surgery and mortality outcomes. The AOANJRR National Data Linkage project seeks to broaden the scope of outcomes investigation in Australia by linking registry and health administrative datasets.

Objectives and Approach
Using linked registry and administrative data, the project seeks to describe and quantify national/regional trends and variation in major complications (infection, dislocation, arthrofibrosis, chronic pain, venous thromboembolism, cardiac events), malignancy and health service utilisation (readmissions, emergency encounters and inpatient rehabilitation) following hip, knee and shoulder joint replacement surgery. Evidence will be generated on how these outcomes are associated with and vary according to patient, surgical, implant, hospital and pharmacological factors.

As Australia lacks a national identifier, seven linkage agencies are probabilistically linking AOANJRR hip, knee and shoulder replacement data (1999-2017) with 20 datasets. Datasets include government-subsidised health services, procedural and prescription data. Hospital separations and emergency attendance data from Australia’s eight jurisdictions together with national cancer registry and rehabilitation service data are also planned for linkage. Linked data are maintained in a secure remote access computing environment.

To date, national Medicare Benefits Schedule, Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and the Australian Cancer Database data have been linked with >900,000 AOANJRR patients, representing 607.6 million health service records (1999-2018), 467.7 million prescriptions (2002-2018) and 184,000 cancer records, respectively. Remaining linked data will be available in mid-2020. Some initial summary results across a selected range of studies will be presented.

Conclusion / Implications
This national data-linkage program will identify areas for improvement in joint replacement surgery and modifiable risk factors contributing to poor patient outcomes.

Article Details

How to Cite
Duszynski, K., Graves, S. E., Pratt, N., Inacio, M., de Steiger, R., Harris, I., Ackerman, I., Jorm, L., Lorimer, M. and Gulyani, A. (2020) “Enhancing Joint Replacement Outcomes Through Registry Linkage with National Health Administrative Data in Australia”, International Journal of Population Data Science, 5(5). doi: 10.23889/ijpds.v5i5.1576.

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