4 October 2017
Anxiety associated with mortality audits could be reduced by
making death investigations a compulsory component of
pre-vocational and specialty training curricula according to an
article in the latest issue of the Australia and New Zealand
Journal of Surgery (ANZJS), the peer-review publication of the
Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS).
The perspective, provided by members of the Royal Australasian
College of Surgeons' Victorian Audit of Surgical Mortality, Monash
University and the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine,
details the various investigations that are primarily conducted for
the purpose of improving care and ensuring patient safety.
The article claims that the prospect of an investigation into
the death of a patient often raises apprehension among surgeons and
prevents engagement with investigations, even when there are no
allegations of negeligence, because education around the different
types of investigations, all with different objectives, has not
been clearly defined.
This apparently is coupled with a culture of blame that stems
from a tendency to revert to a high model of medical
professionalism characterised by unrealistic expectations.
If compulsory education in this area was introduced, Trainees
and Fellows would be better informed of the purpose and process of
various types of death investigations, turning a potentially
negative experience into an opportunity to learn and improve.
The perspective recommends that curricula would include an
overview of mortality audits compared to hospitality
investigations, medical board investigations, coronial
investigations, civil litigation and criminal prosecution
Read the full article here
Download full media release (PDF 147KB)