The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) welcomes today’s (February 15) release of the inaugural report from New Zealand’s Perioperative Mortality Review Committee (POMRC) and congratulates the committee on its work, which has been described as internationally innovative.
POMRC reviews and reports on deaths that occur within 30 days of an invasive procedure or anaesthetic, as well as those occurring after 30 days but before discharge from hospital.
“This is very valuable work,” the chair of ANZCA’s New Zealand National Committee, Dr Geoff Long, said today. “It highlights the areas where additional care needs to be taken to improve quality and safety.
“The report helps identify the factors that can increase risk to patients and these can be discussed with patients, making their informed consent more meaningful.
“Anaesthetists can also take these risk factors into account when deciding on the appropriate care for individual patients. This will contribute directly to better outcomes for our patients.
“While the report identifies risk factors, at the same time it is reassuring for patients in that its findings also demonstrate that New Zealand has a very high safety record, comparable with other similar countries.
“ANZCA’s mission focuses on fostering safety and quality patient care. We pushed to have a committee covering this area of mortality re-established and this first report demonstrates the value of the committee’s work.
“ANZCA very much supports POMRC’s work and the report’s recommendations, especially the proposed mandatory system of data collection. This inaugural report provides an excellent benchmark for future audits and comprehensive data will help us all achieve an even higher level of safety and patient care in our hospitals.
“We would encourage the committee to continue to expand its work to include all types of surgery,” Dr Geoff Long said.