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Data Collection Overview

Australia and New Zealand Neonatal Network (ANZNN)

Data Collection Sources

Based on data from 29 level III neonatal intensive care units in Australia (22 units) and New Zealand (6 units), 16 level II special care units in New Zealand and 11 in Australia.

Institutional environments

The current ANZNN collection is maintained at the National Perinatal Epidemiology and Statistics Unit (NPESU) at the University of New South Wales.
In 1995, the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) Expert Panel on Perinatal Morbidity recommended that ‘The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare National Perinatal Statistics Unit, in collaboration with the directors and staff of all neonatal intensive care units, should monitor mortality and morbidity of infants admitted to such units’.
The ANZNN aims ‘to improve the care of high-risk newborn infants and their families in Australia and New Zealand through collaborative audit and research’. The objectives of the ANZNN are to provide a core data set that will:
• provide information on neonatal outcomes, adjusted for case mix and disease severity to participating neonatal units to assist with quality improvement;
• identify trends and variations in morbidity or mortality;
• assist with the identification of areas of priority for research;
• enhance the ability to carry out multicentre studies and randomized controlled trials;
• monitor the clinical indicators for perinatal care and improve clinical practice while maintaining national standards of evidence based care;
• monitor the use of new technologies, e.g. high flow/oxygen air usage by patent type and ouctome;
• consistency in national data collections.

Relevance and Scope

The ANZNN’s audit of high-risk neonates includes babies admitted to a newborn nursery who meet the following criteria:
• born at less than 32 completed weeks gestation, or
• weighed less than 1,500 grams at birth, or
• received assisted ventilation (mechanical ventilation) including intermittent positive pressure ventilation (IPPV) or continuous positive airways pressure (CPAP) or high flow nasal air/oxygen using a device, blender and humidification, for four or more consecutive hours, or
• died while receiving mechanical ventilation prior to four hours of age, or
• received major surgery (surgery that involved opening a body cavity), or
• received therapeutic hypothermia (2007 data onwards).

Babies who were discharged home and readmitted to a NICU during their neonatal period are not registered to the ANZNN audit. The hospital of registration for a baby is the first level III NICU that the baby remains in for four or more hours during the first 28 days of life. Babies who receive their entire care in a level II hospital or who are not transferred to a level III NICU during the first 28 days of life are registered to the first level II centre that they remain in for four or more hours.


Data should be submitted to the ANZNN coordinator at NPESU by 31 August of the following year to be included in the Annual Report. The most recent Report of the Australian and New Zealand Neonatal Network’ was published in 2016 using data from 2014. Yearly reports are usually presented within two years from the birth year data.


Data is submitted to the ANZNN through an online Data Capture System (DCS) which uses a series of queries to ensure data quality. Units are unable to submit data if mandatory data items are missing or contain non-compliant data values. For the non-mandatory data items, a designated supervisor at each unit can force submission with incomplete values, due to unavailability of data. The queries are reviewed on an annual basis to maintain data quality. ANZNN performs a yearly audit of selected Level III units (rotation based) to assess data compliance.


Reports of the Australian and New Zealand Neonatal Network are published annually and are available from the ANZNN website.
These publications are part of the Australian and New Zealand Neonatal Network annual report series. The latest publication is the 2014 report (PDF). NSW Pregnancy and Newborn Services Network and the Centre for Perinatal Health Research at the University of Sydney prepared reports up until 2005.
Data can be requested from the data custodian at ANZNN.


Documents including ANZNN’s data dictionaries, registration criteria and Member neonatal units are available from the ANZNN website.

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