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BMC Surgery

, 17:42

Visceral and general surgery


BackgroundSurgical mortality audit is an important tool for quality assurance and professional development but little is known about the impact of such activity on professional practice at the individual surgeon level. This paper reports the findings of a survey conducted with a self-selected cohort of surgeons in Queensland, Australia, on their experience of participating in the audit and its impact on their professional practice, as well as implications for hospital systems.

MethodsThe study used a descriptive cross-sectional survey design. All surgeons registered in Queensland in 2015 n = 919 were invited to complete an anonymous online questionnaire between September and October 2015. 184 surgeons completed and returned the questionnaire at a response rate of 20%.

ResultsThirty-nine percent of the participants reported that involvement in the audit process affected their clinical practice. This was particularly the case for surgeons whose participation included being an assessor. Thirteen percent of the participants had perceived improvement to hospital practices or advancement in patient care and safety as a result of audit recommendations. Analysis of the open-ended responses suggested the audit experience had led surgeons to become more cautious, reflective in action and with increased confidence in best practice, and recognise the importance of effective communication and clear documentation.

ConclusionsThis is the first study to examine the impact of participation in a mortality audit process on the professional practice of surgeons. The findings offer evidence for surgical mortality audit as an effective strategy for continuous professional development and for improving patient safety initiatives.

AbbreviationsANZASMAustralian and New Zealand Audit of Surgical Mortality

QASMQueensland Audit of Surgical Mortality

SCFSurgical Case Form

Autor: Chi-Wai Lui - Frances M. Boyle - Arkadiusz Peter Wysocki - Peter Baker - Alisha D’Souza - Sonya Faint - Therese Rey-Con


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