Project objectives

The aim of this study was to assess the impact of care pathways on potentially preventable complications and costs for spinal trauma patients. The extent to which policy and clinical variation impact on outcomes and acute care costs for patients with traumatic spinal cord injury (TSCI) in Australia has not been well described historically.

The University of Sydney

Our approach

A comprehensive data set was compiled using record linkage to combine patient health and administrative records from seven minimum data collections (including costs), with an existing data set of patients with acute TSCI (Access to Care Study), for June 2013 to June 2016. This person-level data set was analysed to estimate the acute care treatment costs of TSCI in NSW, extrapolated nationally. Subgroup analyses described the associated costs of secondary complications and regression analysis identified drivers of higher treatment costs. Mapping patient care and health service pathways of these patients enabled measurement of deviations from best practice care standards and cost-effectiveness analyses of the different pathways.

The study obtained ethics approval from the New South Wales Population and health Services Research Ethics Committee.


The findings from this study have important implications for clinical pathways and management of TSCI patients and costs for health services.

Let's work together

Contact us