Project Homepage:

Data collections can be seen on:

Instruments where data are captured/transferred from:


Software is available at:

Software categories:


Data Repository Solutions

Data Access Control

Project Members:

Elizabeth Sullivan (Project Leader, UNSW,

Jishan Dean (Data Source Administrator,

Rodney Harrison (Project Manager, Intersect,

ANDS Contact:

Alan Glixman (

Project Status:


Australia and New Zealand Neonatal Network (ANZNN) ― Data Capture Project (ANZNN DCP)

University of New South Wales

Collaborator(s): Intersect Australia Ltd

Project Description:

The Australia and New Zealand Neonatal Network (ANZNN) was established in 1994 to monitor the care of high-risk newborn infants. ANZNN is a collaborative network of neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and neonatal nursing unit (NUs) in Australia and New Zealand that maintains an Australasian data collection on selected infant admissions to NICUs or NUs. Data collected through this network is used for quality improvement and improving clinical practice through monitoring of clinical indicators for neonatal care, maintaining national standards of evidence-based care, and monitoring the use of new technologies such as surfactant usage by patient type and outcome and for identifying areas of priority for research. All NICUs and NUs are hospital based. Data range from up to 1000 infants per year for large units to less than 50 infants per year for small units. Data contributed from these units to ANZNN are in two formats – batch data for large units derived from hospital patient admission data systems and manual data entry forms from clinical notes for smaller units.

The data items collected by ANZNN have changed since the original dataset in 1994. The establishment of ANZNN has set an evidence-based research front for monitoring the neonatal care in Australia and New Zealand. This includes the use of new technologies and new interventions and procedures, which have played an important role in the care of the high risk infants, in order to improve health outcomes of those infants. As a result, the data items in ANZNN collection have changed, reflecting the dynamic nature of neonatal care practice in NICUs and NUs.

The aim of this project was to develop a web-based data capture system to streamline and simplify the data process flow and to standardise data collection. The provision of an online feedback report to data contributors helps reduce the time needed for iterations of checking and validating the data. The system development has resulted in a transfer of the responsibility for processing the data to the data contributors in contrast to before where it was with the ANZNN data manager.

The ANZNN DCS can run simultaneously several versions of data sets. The system’s framework is an innovative design aimed at meeting the demands and requirements for a dynamic data collection, data quality improvement and a reduction in processing time. It can adapt to changing data system requirements without major changes in system programming and structure.

ANZNN DCS is web-based data capture system. It can run on most currently available web browsers. Therefore it can run from all hospital computers that clinicians use for their hospital data entry. As it is available at all times with online access, data contributors can manage their time for entering or uploading data to the ANZNN for validation process. This data process improvement will allow the ANZNN data managers to focus on reporting and research, rather than on evaluating data quality.

Data Type:

neonatal intensive care data

High Level Software Functionality:

This project built a web-based data capture system that can easily be adapted to the changes in data collection without major changes in the system’s programming and structure. The main challenge for developing ANZNN DCS was the dynamic nature of its data collection. Every year, new data items with additional business rules maybe added to the data collection in response to emerging clinical and research issues and projects. Some data items and their associated business rules may change as well. To adapt to these changes, the web-based system must maintain its interfaces and structure at the same time to provide different data contents.

The benefit of the ANZNN DCS to ANZNN, an ongoing data collection with a dynamic data collection practices can be summarised as follows:

• Once the web system has been set up by IT supporting team, the new dataset or modified dataset can be uploaded and be available in a relatively short period of time, i.e. 10 to 15 days; therefore, cost for setting up or adding new dataset to the system will be minimum
• Several versions of the datasets can be available/operational at the same time, with each dataset having its own data items and business rules
• System mangers/administrators control the testing and adjustment of content changes, rather than relying on an external software developer
• The system maintains the same interfaces and structure for all versions of datasets
• There is minimal cost for maintaining the system to its community i.e. ANZNN
• There is improved data validation processed for members and data mangers which improves the quality of ANZNN data– setting up a better foundation for quality research in neonatal care

The ANZNN DCS software and its structure can be used for other online data collections. Other projects can load their own data contents, similar to ANZNN adding a new dataset, to form a new data collection system. As an open source system, other projects or disciplines can use the software to develop their own data collection system with a smaller budget over a shorter timeframe capitalising on the ANZNN DCS.