26 July 2016
Clinical trends in surgical risk management from 2007 to 2015
show an overall improvement in patient care, according to the
Victorian Audit of Surgical Mortality (VASM) report released
Surgical services continue to be safe in Victorian hospitals
with overall surgical mortality rates at the lowest rate (0.3%)
since the VASM began in 2007, according to the latest report.
The Audit reviews all surgical related mortality cases, in order
to learn and disseminate improvements to surgical services in
Victoria and contributes at a national level to the Australian and
New Zealand Audit of Surgical Mortality (ANZASM).
"VASM is a collaboration between the Victorian Government's
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Victorian
Surgical Consultative Council (VSCC), the Royal Australasian
College of Surgeons (RACS), the Royal Australian and New Zealand
College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) and the
Australian Orthopaedic Association (AOA).
"The Audit revealed that between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2015,
672,957 patients underwent surgical procedures and a comparatively
low number of 1,966 patients died under the care of a surgeon.
These were primarily among elderly patients with pre-existing
The report contains the outcomes on 6,179 deaths that were
associated with surgical care, which have undergone the full
peer-review process through the VASM program over the past eight
Full audit participation has been achieved at sites with
surgical services across the public and private sectors in
RACS participation rates in the VASM program are high, as
participation is an integral component of a surgeon's ongoing
Continuing Professional Development.
Mr Barry Beiles, the VASM Clinical Director said that the audit
was an important activity for all specialists.
"It is evidence of the value of these audits and their ability
to show improvements and highlight areas that still need work in
order to have the best patient outcomes possible."
"Preventable clinical management issues are driving the VASM to
refocus on the educational role to disseminate lessons learned and
make recommendations to clinicians using the Hospital Clinical
Governance Reports to drive further improvements," Mr Beiles
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