Calls for greater transparency on hospital complications data a welcome step for patient safety

5 February 2018
Maurice Blackburn Lawyers have today welcomed calls from the Grattan Institute for greater transparency in the reporting and publication of hospital complications, saying the availability of such data would enable patients and practitioners to make more informed choices about hospital care and improve safety.

Maurice Blackburn Medical Negligence Principal Sarah Atkinson said today’s report outlined sensible approaches for assessing hospital complication data, including a push for all hospitals to lift their safety performance to the level of the best performing Australian hospitals.

“Today’s report outlines that we need to be looking at hospital complication data differently to better address complication rates across all hospitals and ensuring that such information is made available not only to clinicians and hospitals, but most importantly to patients,” Ms Atkinson said.

“That is an important step – greater availability and scrutiny of data on hospital complications we believe would go a long way to improving patient safety, not only in identifying incidents but in being able to see more clearly which hospitals are performing well in minimising complications and ensuring that other hospitals can benefit from the learnings from this.

“At present, much of the key reporting focusses on a set number of key or sentinel events, but such figures are often dated by the time they are released and do not always provide a full picture of complications being reported in each state.

“Today’s report also notes that Australia is lagging behind other countries including the US and the UK when it comes to reporting of hospital complication data, which shows there is room for further improvement and scrutiny of data nationally,” she said.

Further information is available in The Grattan Institute’s report All complications should count, Using our data to make hospitals safer.

Media inquiries: Jade Thompson at Maurice Blackburn, 0417 969 438

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