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Posted on 06 Oct 2021
Older people

Australian and New Zealand Hip Fracture Registry (ANZHFR) data is driving new initiatives to improve care for 20,000 people who present to Australian hospitals each year with hip fracture.

Many hip fracture patients can no longer walk unaided or require assistance with routine activities. The injury is a leading cause of institutionalisation and excess mortality, with up to one quarter of people who break their hip dying within 12 months.

The ANZHFR collects data on hospital care of hip fracture patients, and report key quality indicators back to clinicians, health services and funders for benchmarking purposes. VAHI works with the registry to ensure the data is used to improve health care outcomes for patients.

Participating hospitals are provided with real time data on performance against measures outlined in the Hip Fracture Care Clinical Care Standard and indicator set.

The Alfred Hospital has contributed to the registry since 2019 and recently put the data to good use by identifying a gap in discharge medications provided to hip fracture patients.

On reviewing registry data, the hospital found that low numbers of their hip fracture patients were being prescribed anti-resorptive medications, which are generally used to increase bone strength in people with osteoporosis. Closer analysis showed this was often due to poor dental health which can cause problems with anti-resorptive therapy.

Prescriptions were instead passed to a patient’s GP, to commence after patients were seen by an external dentist – but the hospital did not know if this was actually happening.

Guided by the registry data, The Alfred organised for their own hospital dental team to review hip fracture patients and clear those eligible to start anti-resorptive therapy.

Patients requiring dental work prior to anti-resorptive commencement were given the option to return to The Alfred dental clinic after recovery from their hip fracture.

The results were significant - anti-resorptive prescription on discharge increased from 7% in 2019 to 30% last year. Alfred hospital dentists were also able to provide critical dental care to many vulnerable residential aged care patients, who may find it difficult to access a dentist in the community.

These kinds of benefits are available to all hospitals that provide data to the ANZHFR. However, while almost nine in ten public hospitals in Australia are involved, only five in ten eligible sites in Victoria currently contribute to the registry.

VAHI supports the expansion of the registry and encourages more local health services to get onboard. Health services joining the registry will benefit from access to real time aggregated case information to enable informed best practice treatment. 

If you would like more information about becoming involved please contact Jamie Hallen, Manager Australian Hip Fracture Registry j.hallen@neura.edu.au.

Page last updated: 06 Oct 2021