- Incidents of surgical mortality are reported directly to the Victorian Audit of Surgical Mortality (VASM), which conducts detailed audits into all deaths that occur under surgical care.
- VASM’s peer-reviewed audits are designed to highlight system and process errors, and are intended as an educational process rather than a punitive exercise.
- Surgeons and clinicians are encouraged to report any significant injuries associated with an operative procedure directly to the Victorian Surgical Consultative Council.
Since the introduction of the Victorian Audit of Surgical Mortality (VASM), the Victorian Surgical Consultative Council (VSCC) no longer receives direct reports of incidents of surgical mortality. The VSCC strongly encourages all surgeons in Victoria to participate in the VASM.
Victorian audit of surgical mortality
VASM is a systematic peer-reviewed clinical audit of all deaths that occur under surgical care in Victoria’s public hospitals.
The VASM audit is funded by the Department of Health & Human Services and is undertaken by the Victorian office of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS).
VASM is part of the Australian and New Zealand Audit of Surgical Mortality (ANZASM), a bi-national network of regionally based audits of surgical mortality.
Objectives of VASM
The VASM audit aims to improve surgical care in Victorian hospitals by:
- reviewing all deaths associated with surgical care
- identifying developing trends in surgical mortality
- encouraging peer review, personal reflection and education
- benchmarking results with other jurisdictions.
VASM auditing process
The VASM auditing process is designed to highlight system and process errors. It is intended as an educational process rather than a punitive exercise.
VASM works closely with the VSCC, which reviews trends in surgical mortality and develops processes to provide feedback to surgeons and hospitals on any systemic issues identified.
Reporting of surgical morbidity
Surgeons and clinicians are encouraged to report any significant injuries that occur as a result of or in association with an operative procedure.
Reports should be made directly to the VSCC through its standardised form for reporting surgical morbidity.
Forms are sent directly to the council chairperson, who will treat all identifying information in them as confidential. The chairperson may contact the reporting clinician if any additional information is required.
Reviewed 05 October 2015