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New Zealand launches national spinal cord injury registry in partnership with the Rick Hansen Institute

Aug 3, 2016 – On August 1, 2016 an event was held at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand to mark the launch of the New Zealand Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Registry, developed in partnership with the Rick Hansen Institute (RHI). The data collected in the registry will lead to better services, care and support for people living with SCI, and reduce long term health care costs. 

NZ RHSCIR launch

Left to Right: Dr. Peter Robinson (ACC), Geraint Martin (CMDHB), Hon. Nikki Kaye (ACC), Bill Barrable (RHI), and Prof. Ian Civil (ADHB)

The event was attended by representatives from New Zealand’s Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC), RHI, the District Health Boards of Counties Manukau and Canterbury, the NZ SCI Governance Group, and the University of Otago. Guests included the ACC Minister, the Honourable Nikki Kaye, and RHI’s CEO, Bill Barrable.

The Rick Hansen Spinal Cord Injury Registry (RHSCIR) model was adopted to support one of eight objectives being implemented as part of the New Zealand Spinal Cord Impairment Action Plan 2014 - 2019. This decision was the result of a 12-month pilot study which led to the recommendation for national implementation of RHSCIR for a SCI registry in New Zealand.

RHSCIR is a prospective observational registry of individuals who have sustained a SCI. RHSCIR contains comprehensive data on health care interventions and outcomes for each of the 5,700 individuals currently enrolled in the registry. The registry was launched in Canada in 2004 and is sponsored by RHI. By connecting clinicians, researchers and health care administrators together, the goal of RHSCIR is to advance research and improve clinical practice for individuals with SCI and reduce health care costs. The registry is active at 31 major acute care and rehabilitation hospitals across Canada. In the last two years, it has partnered with hospitals in China, Israel and New Zealand, marking its turn as a truly global study that endeavors to connect the international SCI research and clinical care communities. New Zealand is the first of these three international sites to implement the registry, and the first country outside Canada to implement RHSCIR on a national scale.

Rick Hansen NZ launch 27 Resize

Hon. Nikki Kaye (ACC) speaks to Dr. Richard Smaill at the Aug 1, 2016 NZ SCI Registry launch event in Auckland, NZ.

The data collected in the NZ SCI Registry will be used to improve the understanding of SCI and the common secondary complications that occur following injury. Furthermore, the partnership between the NZ SCI Registry and RHI’s RHSCIR will enable models of care to be compared and optimized across countries as well as to answer important research questions.

“This registry will collect and record a wide range of information about people throughout their lifetime, from the moment they’re affected by a spinal cord impairment,” said the Honourable Dr. Jonathan Coleman, Minister of Health, New Zealand.

“The more information we capture, the better we can identify how people are progressing, and if they’re receiving the right treatment and support. We can also shape services to better meet people’s needs.”

Hon. Nikki Kaye said, “We know from the Canadian experience that the registry will have multiple benefits. These include improved understanding of risk factors, which will lead to better care and treatment, as well as improved understanding of injury trends which will lead to smarter injury prevention initiatives.”

Data captured by the registry will be collected by dedicated health professionals and entered into a secure web-based platform by trained registry coordinators.

Information will be collected from all consenting new spinal cord impairment patients admitted to the Auckland and Christchurch specialist spinal centres.

Bill Barrable was delighted to attend the event, and to recognize RHI’s important partnership with New Zealand; “The Rick Hansen Institute congratulates the New Zealand SCI Governance Group for the leadership they’ve demonstrated in adopting the Rick Hansen Spinal Cord Injury Registry (RHSCIR) as the New Zealand Spinal Cord Injury Registry. This decision demonstrates their commitment to excellence in performing research that improves the delivery of care and health care outcomes for individuals with spinal cord injury. We look forward to RHSCIR providing the opportunity for further collaboration on future projects.”


"It's encouraging to see that the original dream of the Man in Motion World Tour has grown to a global movement of many in motion. The increased sharing of knowledge and information through the new spinal cord injury registry in New Zealand will continue to help clinicians and researchers translate important research into practice and improve the care and ultimately, the lives, of people with spinal cord injuries."

— Rick Hansen, CEO, Rick Hansen Foundation

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Rick Hansen Institute (RHI) is a Canadian-based not-for-profit organization committed to accelerating the translation of discoveries and best practices into improved treatments for people with spinal cord injuries.

For more information:

Rick Hansen Institute
Ravina Johal, rjohal [at] rickhanseninstitute [dot] org, 604.827.2426

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