Sea change

Public reporting and the safety and quality of the Australian health care system

Clifford F. Hughes*, Patricia Mackay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


• The pursuit of demonstrable safety and quality in health care is an evolving process; there has been notable progress in measuring safety and quality in Australia. • The first attempts to measure outcomes were in the field of anaesthesia, while national perinatal mortality reports have provided clinically useful information for many years. • Nationwide reporting by the Quality in Australian Health Care Study (QAHCS) in 2005 triggered a more systemic approach to safety and quality. • Systemic reporting has begun to emerge in anaesthesia and surgery, for implantable devices, perinatal services and sentinel events; in some jurisdictions, statewide incident data are now reported annually. • While debate continues about the issue of individual clinician performance, the real issue is the effectiveness of any reporting system to bring about change in both safety and quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S44-S47
Number of pages4
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Issue number10 SUPPL.
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2006
Externally publishedYes


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