RACS and Medibank are pleased to publish Surgical Variance
Reports, which analyse a number of clinical and other indicators
for common procedures within surgical specialities, including
general surgery, urology, ear, nose and throat surgery, vascular
surgery and orthopaedic surgery.
The first series of reports were published in 2016 and based on
analysis of de-identified Medibank claims data from 2014, which
RACS has analysed and interpreted. The reports deliberately pose
questions that every clinician can reasonably ask about the
possible reasons for the variations, and consider individual
In 2017 RACS and Medibank have worked together to prepare a
second series of reports which are based on an analysis of
de-identified Medibank claims data from the two most recent
financial years (2015 and 2016). The general surgery report is now
available and further reports for urology, otolaryngology head and
neck surgery, vascular surgery and orthopaedic surgery will be
Following on from these series of reports, Medibank commissioned
RACS to undertake a review of same-day surgery for hernia repair.
This project investigated a range of questions arising from the
variation identified in hernia services, and looked at published
evidence and clinical practice guidelines. The report concluded
that 70-80 per cent of inguinal and hernia repair patients can be
safely and effectively managed as day patients in Australian
RACS and Medibank will continue to work together to identify
opportunities to improve and enhance these reports so that they are
as meaningful and useful as possible to surgeons and we welcome
feedback and comments.
The data contained in these reports do not define best practice,
however it is hoped that by highlighting variation in practice, we
will be able to improve clinical outcomes and patient care.