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DII aims to bolster involvement in injury surveillance program

by: M. Roy Wilson

M. Roy Wilson

No priority can be higher than the health and safety of our student-athletes, and making knowledgeable, informed decisions to promote their well-being requires accurate data. The NCAA Injury Surveillance Program provides data on sports injury trends in intercollegiate athletics and is foundational to NCAA health and safety efforts. Injury statistics on 25 different sports from all divisions are collected and used by the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports and sports playing rules committees to make data-driven decisions.

The NCAA partners with the Datalys Center to manage the ISP. Data submission is via electronic medical record from one of five certified vendors; a free electronic medical records system is available for schools without access to one of the vendors. Because existing Division II participation is inadequate for robust data analyses, the Division II Management and Presidents Councils formed a task force to assess the reasons for low member participation and to recommend potential remedies.

Among the potential barriers, the task force identified misinformation on required submissions and the time commitment involved. Additionally, the benefits of the system for student-athlete health and safety were not well understood by the membership. The task force recommended that an enhanced communication and education plan be implemented by Division II. The recommendations were adopted in January 2018.

As the largest epidemiologic database of its kind, the ISP potentially can provide data to inform injury prevention practices, risk management decisions and athletic training regimens. Armed with a better understanding of the data needs of the system, we feel confident Division II member institutions voluntarily will increase their participation in this important venture.

M. Roy Wilson, president of Wayne State (Michigan), is a member of the Division II Presidents Council and chair of the Division II Injury Surveillance Program Task Force.


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