Standardising data collection across High-Risk Foot Services (HRFS) nationally will create unprecedented opportunity for audit, benchmarking and collaborative research. However, routine collection of data is a challenge for most services, primarily due to the time and resources required to establish a database. This became increasingly apparent following the introduction of formalised service accreditation in 2019 by the National Association of Diabetes Centres (NADC).
To realise the implementation of a national database, a minimum dataset was developed by several clinicians involved in Australian HRFS, integrating recommendations previously published by Diabetic Foot Australia. The dataset was developed into user-friendly, accessible and free electronic data collection forms. With uptake of this platform across Australia there is potential to create a database of international standing. Further, services will have the means to evaluate service efficacy and resource allocation, and to direct service improvement.
Data is collected by participating HRFS using standardised electronic forms on REDCap. REDCap is a secure web-based application designed for database creation and clinical research. Data is periodically centralised to enable audits and benchmarking by the NADC and Australian Diabetes Society (ADS). Participating HRFS are provided with an annual report.
There are two options:
The day-to-day user experience of collecting minimum data is essentially the same. See a live demonstration below (commences at 13:00).
The Australian Diabetes HRFS Database has ethics approval across the country, with the exception of the Northern Territory (pending). You do not need to seek independent ethics approval. An opt-out approach has been used for participant consent, meaning provided posters must be made clearly visible in your HRFS.
Data Agreements are made between the ADS and each participating organisation before project commencement. This is a collaborative agreement detailing shared data ownership. There are formalised processes around use of data for further non-commercial research projects. This includes application to the ADS and any organisation that co-owns data of interest, and appropriate acknowledgement in publications. St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney is the project sponsor and data custodian, responsible for management of centralised data. However, St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney does not assume ownership of data contributed by other organisations.
Please complete the Expression of Interest form. After reviewing your local requirements, the HRFS Database Manager will make contact to assist with REDCap setup, add your site to the existing ethics approval, and guide you through the local governance process. Once REDCap setup is complete you are able to trial the database using mock data (real data must not be collected) while ethics and governance approvals are finalised.