26 September 2023

PS health teamwork boosts baby reports

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Two of the State’s health Agencies have worked together to improve clarity and compliance on the reporting of clinical incidents arising from In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).

The joint effort by the Victorian Agency for Health Information (VAHI) and the State Regulator, Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority (VARTA), has seen reporting of IVF complications increase by about 48 per cent in just over a year.

Detailing the work, VAHI said that in April last year, VARTA contacted the Agency’s Data Request Hub for information on hospital admissions for Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS) and other clinical incidents arising from IVF and/or assisted reproductive treatment (ART).

“All Victorian ART clinics are required to notify VARTA of any adverse incidents or sentinel events,” the Agency said.

It said VARTA were aiming to see what the level of compliance was, and VAHI were able to provide data and visualisations that allowed VARTA to understand unexpected hospital admissions in Victoria following IVF or ART treatment.

“The data showed significant underreporting by ART providers, who were only reporting approximately 20 per cent of OHSS incidents involving hospitalisation over the last three financial years,” the Agency said.

Chief Executive of VARTA, Anna MacLeod said data-driven consultations and changes led to a significant improvement in reporting compliance.

“Ovarian Hyperstimulation cases reported to us as the State Regulator used to only have approximately a 20 per cent match with the VAHI hospital admissions data,” Ms MacLeod said.

“With the VAHI data, we have now been able to work with ART clinics to improve reporting and it appears we are getting approximately 68 per cent match with VAHI data.”

She said aggregate findings were also shared by VARTA with other Victorian safety regulators, including Safer Care Victoria, the Department of Health, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and the Health Complaints Commissioner.

Ms MacLeod said further data had since been provided by VAHI’s Hub team that allowed the Authority to track and improve reporting.

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