Death Screening and Database Project

Mortality (or death) review is a process in which the circumstances surrounding the care of a patient who died during hospitalisation are systematically examined. While most of these deaths are expected and unavoidable, some are not. It is therefore important that all deaths are reviewed, with lessons learned and shared to improve care and avoid untimely death.

The development of a standardised approach to mortality review provides an opportunity to improve the work process for mortality review both at the local and state level in NSW. This includes: every death case reviewed; unnecessary deaths identified and analysed; improved work process such as referral to Special Committees; and instant comparison on mortality for clinicians, managers, and administrators at a local and Statewide perspective.

Death Screening and Review Tools

The Admitted Patient Death Screening Tool which aims to:

  • standardise measures of death review
  • provide local evidence of compliance with numerous NSW Health policy directives
  • provide Statewide information to drive improvement
  • provide evidence of compliance with actions in National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards.

Guidelines to completing the Admitted Patient Death Screening tool provides operational definitions and further explanation to support consistent and reliable review process.

Death Review Database

A web-based intranet online database (work flow management, data collection and analysis) supports the recommended standard of medical record screening. The database has been rolled out to all local health districts.