Clinical Practice

Clinical Practice



Through the Clinical Practice and Education Committee, ANZSA undertakes activities to improve clinical practice across maternity hospitals. These activities aim to reduce stillbirth and provide optimal care for parents whose baby is stillborn.

The Clinical Practice and Education Committee terms of reference outlines why this committee was established.

The primary clinical practice initiatives underway currently are :

Implementation of the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand Guidelines for Perinatal Mortality

While there are still high rates of stillbirth in Australia and New Zealand, up until 2004 there were no uniform process for audit, investigation or review in maternity hospitals. The inconsistencies in investigation hindered the identification of preventable causes and limited the ability to reduce perinatal mortality rates. Such deficiencies led the Perinatal Mortality Group of the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand to develop clinical practice guidelines for perinatal mortality audit. The PSANZ Guidelines were initially developed in 2004 and revised in April 2009 to provide guidance for maternity care clinicians in areas of:

In 2007, a telephone survey of senior midwives and doctors in birth suites across Australia and New Zealand found low awareness of the PSANZ Guidelines and less than optimal uptake of the recommendations into practice. Further, the lack of uptake is evident in the very low perinatal autopsy rates across ANZ. A survey of perinatal committees in 2008 showed that autopsy rates reported by 8 regions range from 61.2 % and 30.7 %.

An active implementation program has now been developed and funds are being sought across a number of States and Territories for rollout through regional coordinators. The program includes and educational program for health care providers on the PSANZ Guidelines IMPROVE (IMproving Perinatal Review and Outcomes Via Education) which utilised the SCORPIO method of teaching; an E-learning program based on IMPROVE; and a clinical data collection tool for perinatal mortality audit since developed by ANZSA and the PSANZ PMG.

Development of new clinical practice guidelines

A number of new guidelines are being developed including: The management of women with decreased fetal movements; and Antenatal detection and management of fetal growth restriction.

The members of the ANZSA Clinical Practice and Education Committee are:

A/Prof Adrian Charles Regional Coordinator WA
Dr Vicki Culling Regional Coordinator NZ
Dr Amanda Dennis Regional Coordinator TAS
Prof David Ellwood Regional Coordinator ACT
A/Prof Vicki Flenady Regional Coordinator QLD
Prof Heather Jeffery Regional Coordinator NSW
Ms Belinda Jennings Committee member
Prof Yee Khong Regional Coordinator SA
Dr Kassam Mahomed Committee member
Ms Tomasina Stacey Regional Coordinator NZ
A/Prof Glyn Teale Regional Coordinator VIC
Dr Sujatha Thomas Regional Coordinator NT
Ms Julie Wheeler Committee member
Ms Trish Wilson Committee member