Over the years the European Commission facilitated joint actions working towards an EU-wide information system on injuries, which resulted in development of the European Injury Data Base (IDB). In the last three years IDB has continued to develop through the Joint Action on Monitoring Injuries in Europe (JAMIE) program. The Commission has now decided that many of its funded informatics orientated activities should be coordinated in a program of activity called BRIDGE-Health. The Injury Surveillance Platform (ISP) is one of twelve work packages in BRIDGE-Health and is comprised of the network of national IDB-centres (includes partners from 26 countries, of whom 23 are EU Member States and 3 candidate countries), academic and third sector partners. These centres fulfil a core role in implementing a programme of continuous improvement in injury data gathering within their countries. Data are currently being provided from 22 countries and this is expected to expand to at least 30 countries. Professor Ronan Lyons leads the ISP supported by Samantha Turner and Simon Thompson (Swansea University) and by Wim Rogmans and Rupert Kisser from EuroSafe.
The Minimum Data Set (MDS) developed as part of JAMIE provides an opportunity to implement a common low cost injury surveillance system for Europe to support policy development and prevention. The MDS will be used by the EU and EuroStat for a number of requirements, including compiling the European Community Health Indicator 29b – incidence of home and leisure injuries.
As part of this project AWISS staff lead the coordination of the IDB data collection and quality appraisal process. A data call is sent out to participating countries annually, and the next call is due in September 2016.
AWISS are currently working towards a paper demonstrating the coverage and application of the MDS dataset. AWISS are also in the process of undertaking a hip fracture analyses (e.g. comparing admitted hip fractures in IDB samples to national hospital discharge statistics) to correct for errors in extrapolations of data samples. Lastly, we are also in the process of developing a publicly accessible analysis tool, which will allow interested parties to identify injury incidence rates, and the burden of injury in specific countries and for Europe as a whole.
This increased involvement in European injury data collection will serve to improve the skills of AWISS staff in dealing with the injury records collected in Wales, via, for example, an enhanced knowledge of how other countries deal with missing data items and how they work with health colleagues to ensure a timely/reliable submission of injury records in their country.
Seconded AWISS staff are also currently leading the analyses for the 2016 edition of the ‘Injuries in the European Union’ report (Previous report), supported by the European Commission, Health and Consumers Directorate-General (DG Sanco). This report will be circulated across Europe and provides a comprehensive overview of injuries in Europe.
Together with undertaking analyses of the EU IDB for the ‘Injuries in the European Union’ report, seconded AWISS staff are also responsible for running the IDB Clearing House. This involves responding to detailed information requests made by organisations from all over Europe.
Analysing the EU IDB not only provides AWISS staff with an increased knowledge of the injury burden across Europe, thereby helping to put into context the situation in Wales, but also enhances local data analysis skills and increases opportunities for Welsh participation in international studies.
All IDB analyses will be uploaded to the AWISS website shortly.