The role of patient-reported outcome measures in postoperative death investigations

Anant Divyang Butala, Joseph Elias Ibrahim, Lyndal Bugeja, David Ranson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review


Coronial investigations of post-operative deaths can play an important role in improving the quality and safety of patient care. Correctly identifying reportable deaths in the post-operative period and reporting them to the coroner is a key responsibility of medical practitioners but may be challenging, particularly when determination of unexpectedness is problematic. Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) have a potential role to play in assisting clinicians with better identification of these reportable deaths. Moreover, the inclusion of PROMs within coronial investigations can assist in identifying systemic failures and result in recommendations on public health and safety. In particular, PROMs could be effective in addressing the overuse of surgery which remains a major public health concern. While the role of PROMs in clinical practice has undergone extensive research, their potential use in death investigations has been overlooked. As medicine continues to transition towards a patient-centred model of care, the use of frameworks such as PROMs will become increasingly important and may also provide benefit to the process of medicolegal death investigations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)737-741
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Law and Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Coroners
  • Medical examiners
  • Medicolegal death investigation
  • Policy
  • Postoperative
  • Prevention
  • PROM

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