Expansion of the surgical mortality audits includes the collaboration between the SAASM and the South Australian Anaesthetic Mortality Committee (SAAMC).
From information provided by treating surgeons as part of the surgical mortality audit process, the SAASM identifies a potential anaesthetic component to the death of the patient from Q17 ('Was there an anaesthetic component to the patient death?'). If the answer to the question is 'Yes' then the SAASM refers the cases on a monthly basis to the SAAMC for further anaesthetic assessment. This process is fully covered by the ANZASM Qualified Privilege (gazetted 25 July 2016).
The SAAMC's role is to analyse adverse event information, specifically patient mortality, from health services related to anaesthesia with the objective of recommending quality improvement initiatives. In addition, an assessment report can be provided to the responsible anaesthetist (if requested). The SAASM is provided with a copy of the final anaesthetic assessment to enable monitoring and reporting of assessment outcomes (without disclosing any of the information contained in individual assessments).
Developments in the surgical mortality audits comprise the inclusion of our Gynaecological colleagues into SAASM. The audit is notified of all deaths occurring after a gynaecological surgical procedure. Participation by Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (RANZCOG) Fellows is currently considered voluntary under RANZCOG CPD requirements.