Establishment of the Australasian electronic Persistent Pain Outcomes Collaboration
Objective. Chronic pain is experienced by one in five Australians and is estimated to be the nation's third most costly health problem. In 2013, a chronic pain treatment outcomes registry was established, with the goals of evaluating treatment of chronic pain in multidisciplinary centers, establishing a benchmarking system to drive quality improvement and providing answers to important questions regarding types of treatment ("dose," intensity, and response) and which treatment is appropriate for different patients. This paper describes the development and the first-phase implementation of the registry.
Methods. A minimum data set of primarily patient-rated measures was developed for use within pain management services. Governance structures and protocols for data collection were established, and software and resources created, to support pain management services.
Results. Data collection commenced in 21 centers in Australia and is being implemented in over 20 others across Australia and New Zealand within the first two years. Feedback in the initial phase has already resulted in improvements to the software and reports, as well as minor changes to the data set. Centers have submitted high-quality data describing the demographic and clinical characteristics of patients referred to specialist pain services.
Conclusions. The electronic Persistent Pain Outcomes Collaboration has been established for Australasia and is strongly supported by specialist societies and consumer groups. The next phase will increase the proportion of follow-up data in order to realize the registry's goals of evaluation, benchmarking, and research to improve outcomes and services for patients experiencing persistent pain.