Aim: To describe the process of selection and adaptation of a trauma registry and the initial experience with its use.
Method: The decision-making processes involved in selection of a data set and computer software are described. The problems associated with collection of data, recording and analysis are outlined.
Results: In the 6 months from 1 January to 30 June 1995, 615 patients were entered on the Auckland Hospital trauma registry. 590 patients were discharged or transferred alive and 25 (4.1%) died in hospital. Median length of stay of survivors was 6 days (mean 9.03 days) with median ICU stay being 0 days (mean 0.81 days). A range of difficulties including data collection, recording and analysis were experienced.
Conclusion: Despite some teething problems, establishment of a trauma registry has proven to be an achievable task within the trauma service. Recording of data which allows assessment of the quality of care, resource use and outcome has been possible. Effectiveness of the trauma service has been enhanced by the availability of this data.