Data from Te Rēhita Mate Ūtaetae, the Breast Cancer Foundation National Register, is used in clinical audits to improve diagnosis, treatment and ultimately for better breast cancer patient outcomes. Audit data is used at a clinical level for programme evaluation, quality assurance and required reporting to BreastSurgANZ or other professional organisations.
What is a clinical audit?
Clinical audit is a critical systematic analysis of the performance of an individual, a team, or an organisation's clinical work. It involves the collection and measurement of clinical activities and their outcomes, and provides patients with confidence in the quality of services provided. The results of an audit are interpreted with consultation and peer review.
Analysis and comparisons using accepted standards, performance indicators, and outcome parameters then become an important stimulus in identifying areas for learning and for the improvement of patient care. The ultimate goal of an audit process is improved clinical practice, leading to better patient outcomes.
BreastSurgANZ Quality Audit
Te Rēhita, the National Register, data is used for the BreastSurgANZ Quality Audit. The audit is a review of breast cancer surgery, designed to ensure that breast surgeons who are committed to improving care can get the information they need to achieve the highest standards of patient care. The audit collects information from surgeons in Australia and New Zealand about the treatment of breast cancer patients. This allows surgeons to assess their practice and compare it with their peers and industry standards. By participating in the audit, your surgeon is demonstrating a commitment to improving the quality of care for patients with breast cancer.
The information you give also helps to:
- compile Australian and New Zealand statistics about treating breast cancer
- create a practice profile for your surgeon with details of his/her patients
- continuously upgrade care for breast cancer patients.
Who conducts it?
The audit is directed and funded by the Breast Surgeons of Australia and New Zealand (BreastSurgANZ), a specialty society for surgeons treating breast cancer. For more information about BreastSurgANZ click here.
The audit is managed for BreastSurgANZ by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, a non-profit organisation training surgeons and maintaining surgical standards in Australia and New Zealand.
How does it work?
Unless you choose not to participate, your surgeon will enter medical information about your breast cancer diagnosis and treatment into the BreastSurgANZ Quality Audit database. Your surgeon will include some potentially identifying information: your date of birth, the first three letters of your surname and postcode. Information supplied to the audit is stored in a secure database and encrypted to ensure patient privacy.
The audit has been declared under legislation that means data cannot be disclosed except for information which does not identify a person or persons.
Further information about your health status may be sought from other national databases. If the audit attempts to gain data in this way, we will provide the other database managers with the minimum identifying information necessary to ensure matching of records. Any data gained will be securely stored.
It is up to you to decide whether you would like to give your medical information to the BreastSurgANZ Quality Audit. Your surgeon will submit your information unless you inform them that you do not wish to take part. If you would prefer not to participate, it is important that you tell your surgeon or contact audit staff directly.
For more information, including summaries of breast cancer research, click here.