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Improving perioperative care before, during and after surgery is the first annual report from the new Victorian Perioperative Consultative Council

Analysing trends in patient harm and death, it details opportunities to improve patient safety before, during and after surgery.

It also makes recommendations for health services and clinicians – including surgeons, anaesthetists, nursing staff: 

  • Before surgery: 
    • Promote preoperative optimisation strategies for high-risk, comorbid patients. 
    • Champion patient/consumer engagement in shared decision-making. 
    • Agree goals of management when exploring treatment options. 
    • Consider what the best care looks like for each individual.
  • During surgery: 
    • Ensure adequate preparation and consistent use of safety checklists. 
    • Practise protocols to respond to unexpected events such as anaphylaxis, massive bleeding or cardiac arrhythmias.
  • After surgery: 
    • Recognise and respond to complications such as cardiovascular events, unplanned return to theatre, and when to transfer for escalation of care. 
    • Review perioperative morbidity and mortality to identify themes and lessons to improve care across the whole patient journey.
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