New Ombudsman opinion Loading Comments…
June 30, 2016
Ombudsman Ron Paterson has today published his opinion on a request to five DHBs for surgical complications data. The requester sought data about individual surgeons, including the number and type of procedures they performed, and their standardised and crude rates of major complications, readmissions and deaths.
The Ombudsman recommended the release of information about the number and type of procedures performed by individual surgeons because the privacy interest in this information was outweighed by the public interest in transparency and accountability.
However, the DHBs were entitled to refuse the request for individual surgeons’ standardised and crude rates of major complications, readmissions and deaths. Standardised rates are not currently held, and release of crude rates—which are misleading or based on incomplete or poor quality data—would do more harm than good.
The Ombudsman commented that professionalism in a 21st century doctor should include a commitment to the collection and publication of meaningful surgical outcomes data. He welcomed the greater commitment within the health sector to collect, analyse and publish such data.
The Ombudsman also recommended that the Ministry of Health and the Health Quality & Safety Commission publish regular annual updates, starting in June 2017, on progress towards publication of meaningful surgical outcomes data by June 2021.
Read the full opinion here.Back to top ↑