A user’s guide to the different types of registries and how registry data can play an important role in informing collaborative discussions with your consultant and healthcare provider.

What are clinical registries?
The National Joint Registry
National Ophthalmology Database (NOD) Audits

What are clinical registries?

Registries collect clinical data about the health of patients and their outcomes over time following certain medical procedures. They are primarily used by clinicians and medical experts to assist decision making about quality improvement, quality of care and patient safety.

Clinical registries will also typically publish how many times a consultant or hospital has performed different procedures and information related to their patients’ outcomes. Registries can also be used by patients when researching which consultant or hospital is best for them.

Where consultants and hospitals participate in a healthcare registry, it can be a good sign that they are fully engaging with their professional duties to monitor and ensure safe and effective patient care.

The National Joint Registry

The National Joint Registry (NJR) collects health information on hip, knee, ankle, elbow and shoulder replacement surgery and monitors the performance of joint replacement implants, together with those of the consultants and healthcare providers. It is mandatory for hospitals to submit all joint replacement procedure details to the Registry.

If you are searching for a consultant or hospital and select any one of the above procedures, you’ll be offered a link which will take you to the relevant information on the NJR website.

All consultants and hospitals that undertake these procedures are required to submit outcome data on their relevant cases to the NJR so that their outcomes can be monitored and analysed. If such consultants or hospitals don’t have a link to an NJR profile, you might want to ask them to clarify why.

The NJR has been collecting data since 2003 and now holds over 3.5 million records from NHS and private hospitals in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and Guernsey.

National Ophthalmology Database (NOD) Audits

The Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCOphth) runs the National Ophthalmology Database (NOD) audit. It measures the outcomes of cataract surgery and now includes an Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) audit.

The National Cataract Audit reports on cataract surgery performed in adult patients. The audit is an important quality assurance measure for cataract surgery, which is the most frequently performed procedure in both the NHS and private sector. National clinical audits measure and protect patient safety and professional standards.

NOD was established in 2010 to collate patient data, in an unidentifiable format, collected as a by-product of routine clinical care.

The audit reports are publicly available at www.nodaudit.org.uk. The first report was published in April 2016. The reports include case complexity adjusted outcomes for Posterior Capsular Rupture (PCR) and Visual Acuity (VA) Loss (visual harm from surgery) for participating organisations.

Case complexity adjusted PCR and VA loss results are available on the public section of the audit website for named consultant and independent surgeons, and for named surgical centres. Audit year results for organisations are provided to both the Care Quality Commission and The Getting It Right First Time Programme.

The original publication date for this page was 19 January 2023. This page was last updated on 5 September 2023 to fix a website link.

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