Scottish Mortality and Morbidity Programme

The Scottish Mortality and Morbidity Programme (SMMP) is a collaboration which aims to improve mortality and morbidity meetings and processes within NHSScotland through:

  • learning and training to provide skills and support to design and run effective mortality and morbidity meetings and processes
  • sharing learning across NHSScotland, and
  • technology and IT systems that support mortality and morbidity processes.

What is the mortality and morbidity process?

The Mortality and Morbidity process describes the review of incidents from the initial event to the mortality and morbidity meeting and implementation of identified actions or outcomes.

A mortality and morbidity meeting is ‘a unique opportunity for caregivers to improve the quality of care offered through case studies. They provide clinicians and members of the healthcare team with a routine forum for the open examination of adverse events, complications, and errors that may have led to illness or death in patients’.

Mortality and morbidity meetings are also known as mortality and morbidity reviews or conferences, case conferences or clinical teaching conferences. The term ‘patient safety’ or ‘quality improvement’ or ‘quality assurance’ (or a similar variant) is occasionally appended as a prefix.

Mortality and morbidity meetings support a systematic approach to the review of patient deaths or care complications to improve patient care and provide professional learning. The meetings give ownership to clinical teams and offer a direct opportunity to improve care delivery in a timely manner.

Effectively run audit and peer review processes, incorporating analysis of mortality and morbidity cases, contribute to improved patient safety and professional development.

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