The WA Audit of Surgical Mortality (WAASM) report has revealed significant improvements to patient care in Western Australia.
The report, which covers a five-year period from 2008 to 2012, includes the clinical review of all cases where patients have died under the care of a surgeon in WA, regardless of whether a procedure took place.
"Patient safety remains the top priority for WA Health and learning from adverse events is one way that helps us achieve this goal," WA Health Acting Director General Professor Bryant Stokes said in an October 21 statement.
"We now have 100 per cent of WA who have agreed to participate in the audit, demonstrating a real desire from the medical community to learn from past experiences."
The number of surgery related deaths has fallen by 19 per cent in proportion to the population between 2008 to 2012 – down from 682 to 584 last year.
"To put the findings in context – WAASM found that 5 per cent of surgical cases in the five year period were associated with an adverse event that caused death – and less than 1 per cent of those were considered 'definitely preventable'," Professor Stokes said.
The surgical mortality audit has been operating for over a decade in all WA public and private hospitals. Western Australia was the first state to undertake the process, and similar audits have now been adopted in all other Australian states and territories.
"WA Health continues to lead the way in making our health system accountable and this latest audit will help inform decisions about how we can improve our surgical care," said Professor Stokes.
If you are considering private health insurance to cover the medical costs of an upcoming surgical procedure in WA, contact HICA today.