Development of the Australasian Vascular Surgical Audit

Bernie M. Bourke, Charles Barry Beiles, Ian A. Thomson, Michael J. Grigg, Rob Fitridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to describe the development of the Australasian Vascular Audit that was created to unify audit activities under the umbrella of the Australian and New Zealand Society for Vascular Surgery as a Web-based application. Constitutional change in late 2008 deemed participation in this audit compulsory for Society members. The Web-based application was developed and tested during 2009. Data for all open vascular surgery and for all endovascular procedures are collected at two points in the admission episode: at the time of operation and at discharge, and entered into the application. Data are analyzed to produce risk-adjusted outcomes. An algorithm has been developed to deal with outliers according to natural justice and to comply with the requirements of regulatory bodies. The Audit is protected by legislated privilege and is officially endorsed and indemnified by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. Confidentiality of surgeons and patients alike is ensured by a legally protected coding system and computer encryption system. Validation is by a verification process of 5% of members per year who are randomly selected. The application is completely funded by the Society. Data entry commenced on January 1, 2010. Over 40,000 vascular procedures were entered in the first year. The Audit application allows instantaneous on-line access to individual data and to deidentified group data and specific reports. It also allows real-time instantaneous production of log books for vascular trainees. The Audit has already gained recognition in the Australasian public arena during its first year of operation as an important benchmark of correct professional surgical behavior. Compliance has been extremely high in public hospitals but less so in private hospitals such that only 60% of members received a certificate of complete participation at the end of its first year of operation. An Internet-based compulsory audit of complete surgical practice is possible to create and be maintained by a society of surgeons with a membership of just over 200. The 60% compliance rate for complete data entry has created an immediate constitutional challenge for the Society. Future challenges are to improve total participation to an acceptable level and to ensure accurate data entry via a robust validation system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-170
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Volume55
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes

Cite this