The incidence of surgery-related mortality is being significantly reduced thanks to a Victorian state-wide audit incorporating cutting-edge Geographic Information System (GIS) technology.
The Victorian Audit of Surgical Mortality (VASM) involves the clinical review of all cases where patients have died in hospital while under the care of a surgeon.
Esri Australia GIS in Health specialist Jeremy Pytel said the audit used GIS technology to map and analyse complex patient health care data and deliver an insight into mortality rates.
“During the audit, information – such as hospital locations, patient age and cause of death – is digitally layered on a map, enabling the identification of previously unseen correlations in the data,” Mr Pytel said.
“Emerging trends can then be analysed, including whether location-based demographic trends, such as population and gender mix, impact mortality.
“Alternatively, we can pinpoint whether clinical issues are key determinants.”
Mr Pytel said said the College’s GIS solution should set the standard for how other states manage their medical review processes.
“GIS technology is used by the world’s leading hospitals and medical institutions – but until now Australia’s healthcare system has really been lagging behind,” Mr Pytel said.
“It’s encouraging to see the College buck this trend and establish irrefutable evidence as to how valuable geographic insight can be in medical research.
“Together with the Victorian Department of Health, which also uses the technology, the College has been instrumental in establishing Victoria as the nation’s most progressive state in geomedicine.”
The VASM is funded by the Victorian Department of Health and managed by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.