The Queensland approach may deliver empirical evidence on whether performance monitoring leads to improved quality of care
Several high profile medical disasters have occurred recently in Australia and England and have raised concern about quality of care and patient safety. In Australia, the major disasters have included those at the Bundaberg Hospital in Queensland,1 and the Campbelltown and Camden Hospitals in New South Wales; and in England, the Bristol Royal Infirmary scandal2 and the Shipman Affair.3 Although the specifics in each instance are unique, a common outcome from the subsequent inquiries has been a recommendation for some form of centralised performance monitoring using routinely collected data. Why? Because retrospective desktop analysis of routinely collected data signalled the medical disaster before the “whistle blew”.
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