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Standardising data collection across High-Risk Foot Services (HRFS) nationally has created unprecedented opportunity for audit, benchmarking and collaborative research. Routine collection of data presents 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 Diabetes Feet Australia. The dataset was developed into user-friendly, accessible and free electronic data collection forms. With uptake of this platform across Australia we are realising the potential to create a registry of international standing. Further, participating services have the means to evaluate service efficacy and resource allocation, and to direct quality improvement. A suite of online resources is available to support the quality improvement cycle.
By participating your service is joining a national collaboration of future-ready, likeminded, and enthusiastic clinicians. This investigative community has become a unique strength of the project and feeds its ongoing evolution. Access is provided to virtual meetings, an online communication portal and the database resource library, with sharing of thoughts and knowledge encouraged.
Data is collected by a growing number of 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 forming the Australian Diabetes Foot Registry (ADFR). The registry enables audits and benchmarking to be undertaken by the NADC and Australian Diabetes Society (ADS), and in turn participating services are provided with an annual report.
There are two options for database setup:
A live map of participating services and their current status is available here
Diabetes & foot ulceration – what the data tells us, what it doesn’t, and what do we do?
Best Practice in Diabetes Centres Symposium 2022
‘It’s all in the numbers’: Collecting national data to improve diabetes foot care
Presented at the Australasian Diabetes Congress 2021
The Australian Diabetes High Risk Foot Service Database: Where are we up to?
Presented at the Australasian Diabetes Congress 2020
Implementing collection of HRFS Minimum Data into our Clinics (REDCap Demonstration)
Presented at the Australasian Diabetes Advancements & Technologies Summit 2019.
The Australian Diabetes HRFS Database has ethics approval across the country. 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. A waiver of consent is approved at selected sites.
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.