It is incorrect to claim that the Tasmanian Health Service (THS) said no to, or sought to prevent, a review into adverse events or data related to deaths at the Royal Hobart Hospital.
The THS has introduced a process of root cause analysis to routinely investigate serious adverse events.
Further, the THS has a Governing Council Subcommittee on Quality and Safety, and an Executive Director for Patient Safety, to ensure continuous improvement in patient care.
With regard to the matter raised in Parliament today, at the instigation of the Subcommittee earlier this year, following discussions with the CEO, a group of clinicians proposed that they undertake a review at the RHH, in relation to the causes of death which were indicated by reported data.
The THS Governing Council Subcommittee on Quality and Safety advised the clinicians that the review could occur, however it should follow the National Health and Medical Research Council Guideline on ethical considerations in quality assurance.
This guideline is important to ensure that in conducting quality assurance activities, participants, patients and families are afforded appropriate protections and respect, that outcomes are used to assess and improve service provision, that relevant ethical principles and legislation are adhered to and that activities are conducted ethically.
As such a process involves sensitive patient information and clinicians reviewing the notes of patients that were not in their own care, it is essential that due and proper process is followed.
Subsequent to this occurring, the clinicians withdrew their proposal. The THS Safety and Quality Subcommittee decided to proceed with the study in accordance with nationally accepted guidelines and the first stage of the study has commenced.
THS takes quality and safety very seriously and continues to review data to ensure that hospital data coding is accurate and, of course, there is a continual focus on maintaining and improving the quality of care.