TASM is a peer-review process. Participation by consultant surgeons is a requirement of the College's Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program.
To start: TASM is notified by the hospital of all deaths that occurred during a surgical admission or where there is deemed to be the possibility of an anaesthetic related component to the death.
Next: TASM sends a surgical case form (PDF 253.47KB) to the treating surgeon or anaesthetist linked to the case.
A surgical case form or anaesthetic data collection form is:
- completed by the consultant surgeon, anaesthetist or their registrar (under supervision)
- returned to TASM in the reply paid envelope (as soon as possible)
- de-identified and sent to a first-line assessor (a consultant surgeon or anaesthetist; same speciality, different hospital) for anonymous peer-review.
If a second-line assessment (case note review) is not requested by the first-line assessor, the original surgeon or anaesthetist will be sent written feedback at this point (and the case will be closed).
If a second-line assessment (case note review) is requested by the first-line assessor (that is, the case needs further investigation or insufficient information has been provided on the surgical case form (PDF 253.47KB) then these steps are followed:
- an appropriate second-line assessor is selected;
- medical records are requested by TASM project staff;
- the second-line assessor then reviews the Surgical Case Form or Anaesthetic data form, the patient's medical records; and the first-line assessor's comment, before writing a one-page report;
Note: The review is carried out and the report written in a spirit of sympathetic enquiry, providing sufficient details for a clear view of events;
- the report and relevant feedback is sent to the original surgeon or anaesthetist. The case is then closed, and
- at each stage of the process the original surgeon has right of reply.