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Clinical quality registries for clinician-level reporting: strengths and limitations

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Australia should learn from overseas experience of reporting clinician outcomes before considering a similar program

Clinical registries systematically collect clinically relevant data regarding specific diseases or health events using standard procedures and definitions across multiple institutions. They originated as an epidemiological construct, and were designed to measure health outcomes across whole populations, originally for epidemiological and health planning purposes. More recently, the term “clinical quality registry” (CQR) has been introduced to define registries that use specific clinical quality indicators for regular confidential and benchmarked reporting to participating sites.1 CQR reporting at a hospital level acknowledges the often inextricable links between the many factors affecting patient care, including practitioner performance, support staff, facilities, care processes, and pre- and postoperative care. CQR reporting may provide early warning of potential quality issues, and when hospitals with outlying results internally review their data and processes, it may be an effective stimulus for clinical practice change.2

Clinician-level reporting from clinical quality registries

Internationally, there is growing interest in clinician-level reporting. This is driven by diverse stakeholders:

  • the medical…