Luxembourg’s injury surveillance system rated excellent and sustainable
Accidents and intentional injuries are one of the major causes of death, hospital admissions and disabilities in Luxembourg. The Ministry of Health, in the framework of the European Injury Data Base (IDB) network and in collaboration with LIH’s Department of Population Health has committed itself to an injury prevention policy. The current implementation of Luxembourg’s injury surveillance system was recently rated excellent and sustainable in an evaluation performed within the European project BRIDGE-Health.
BRIDGE-Health, standing for “BRidging Information and Data Generation for Evidence-based Health policy and research” is a large-scale project funded by the European Commission to work towards a European health information and data generation network covering major EU health policy areas by promoting the coordination and convergence of existing key projects in health information. LIH, with its objective to implement a quality injury surveillance system, is part of the BRIDGE-Health network encompassing in total 31 partners in 16 European countries.
In accordance with the common European IDB methodology, Luxembourg’s injury surveillance system named RETRACE (Recueil de données sur les TRaumatismes et ACcidents) collects information on injury causes and circumstances at the Emergency Departments of all hospitals with the aim to conceive injury prevention measures.
The implementation of RETRACE was evaluated in a scorecard report emitted in November 2016. Different criteria, like participation in EU data exchange, data delivery over the past 5 years, geo-coverage of the collected data, prospects for data collection in the current year and capacities of the RETRACE project team for injury data analysis were scored. RETRACE received the maximum number of points for each criterion and stood out as an exemplary national injury surveillance system.
Dr Dritan Bejko, epidemiologist at LIH’s Department of Population Health, coordinator of RETRACE and Luxembourg’s representative in this BRIDGE-Health network is proud of the result. He explains about the data collection for RETRACE: ‘Compared to other countries, the implementation of injury monitoring on a national level is eased by the small size of the Grand Duchy. We are able to collect a detailed set of information, a so-called Full Data Set, at Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg, which is highly valuable for conceiving injury prevention measures. A less detailed level of information, named Minimum Data Set, is collected at the other hospitals of the country. The information from all hospitals is then combined to estimate the burden of injuries in terms of morbidity by prevention domain, age, gender, mechanism of injury, etc.’