Surgeons can demonstrate their commitment to improving and maintaining the highest standards of care for their patients by participating in clinical audit.
The BreastSurgANZ Quality Audit (formerly the National Breast Cancer Audit) is a quality assurance service provided by the Breast Surgeons of Australia and New Zealand (BreastSurgANZ) for surgeons who treat early breast cancer. It was initiated as a pilot study by the Section of Breast Surgery of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) in 1998 and has been working to improve and maintain the highest quality of care for breast cancer patients for over 10 years.
Participation in the audit is a requirement for membership of BreastSurgANZ and is a recognised audit activity in the RACS’ Continuing Professional Development Program. The Audit is endorsed by Cancer Australia (formerly known as the National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre) and Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA). Both Cancer Australia and BCNA recommend the Audit as a resource for patients choosing a surgeon.
The audit collects data on the surgical care of early and locally advanced breast cancer and ductal carcinoma in situ. The BreastSurgANZ Quality Audit database currently contains over 175,000 episodes of breast cancer (capturing 90% of breast cancer cases in Australia and New Zealand), with over 300 surgeons contributing data each year. Data is submitted to the audit through the BreastSurgANZ Quality Audit Online Portal at www.bqa.org.au. Alternatively, institutions with large local databases collecting breast cancer data may be eligible for the Audit Institutional Upload Program.
Non-members participation to the BreastSurgANZ Quality Audit
The BreastSurgANZ Quality Audit (formerly the National Breast Cancer Audit) is a clinical audit developed with the aim of improving quality of care by surgeons for patients with early breast cancer in Australia and New Zealand. It provides surgeons with a self-audit tool to monitor their own surgical practice in relation to evidence based standards, as well as participating in a quality improvement cycle.
The BQA is a free service for members of the Breast Surgeons of Australia and New Zealand Inc. (BreastSurgANZ) who pay for the audit maintenance. Any surgeon who is not a member of BreastSurgANZ wishing to access the service must pay a non-member access fee of $50 per case (AUD inclusive of GST)
The audit provides surgeons with a self-audit tool to monitor their own surgical practice in relation to evidence based standards. Surgeons can assess their practice against five Key Performance Indicators based on Cancer Australia guidelines for best practice and local expert advice.
The secure online interface of the data entry portal provides surgeons with:
- An instant summary of the surgeon's breast cancer cases, treatments and overall performance against key performance indicators;
- The ability to export all of their cases to Microsoft Excel for personal analyses;
- Benchmarking against peers.
BreastSurgANZ Quality Audit staff are also available to assist with personal analyses of data.
A further function of the audit is to provide valuable research into the area of early breast cancer treatment using the large repository of data already collected. This research has resulted in a number of publications in internationally recognised journals, the details of which can be found in the publications section of the BreastSurgANZ Quality Audit website.