The BreastSurgANZ Quality Audit (BQA) aims to improve the quality of surgical care for patients with early and locally advanced breast cancer in Australia and New Zealand.
Participants can self-assess their clinical performance against set key performance indicators and high quality performance indicators.
Research into breast cancer treatment and outcomes using de-identified audit data forms an important part of the audit's value.
Breast Surgeons of Australia and New Zealand (BreastSurgANZ), directors of the audit, require members to submit data on all cases of early and locally advanced breast cancer.
The BQA Subcommittee is responsible for providing direction, oversight and clinical advice to the operation of the audit.
This audit was formerly directed by the Breast Surgery Section of the College as the National Breast Cancer Audit. Initiated as a pilot study in 1998, it has been running continuously since then. RACS now manages the audit on behalf of BreastSurgANZ, who took over the audit's direction in late 2010.
The database currently contains over 200,000 episodes of breast cancer, with over 300 surgeons contributing data each year from across Australia and New Zealand.
Quality Assurance Activities
Aspects of the functions within the audit have been declared in Australia as Quality Assurance Activities under the Health Insurance Act 1973 (Commonwealth) and in New Zealand as Protected Quality Assurance Activities under the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003. Further information about the Commonwealth Qualified Privilege Scheme and the NZ Quality Assurance Activities can be found in the links below.
As a result of these declarations, the data that becomes available as a result of the prescribed activity cannot be disclosed (in reports or publications) outside of that activity in a manner that identifies a person. The confidentiality of the information received is protected accordingly and high-level data security procedures are maintained.
For details on the activities protected, please refer to:
Who can participate
Members of BreastSurgANZ are automatically allocated an audit account for collecting and submitting data.
Non-member access to the online portal for their own self-audit purposes is also available for a fee; however, non-members are not considered participants of the audit, nor are they provided with the other benefits and services of participation (beyond help desk support).