Emergency and trauma care

Guidelines for trauma quality improvement programmes

Improving the care of injured people could do much to save lives. Quality improvement programmes offer a practical means to achieve improvements in trauma care. These programmes enable health care institutions to better monitor their trauma care services, detect problems, and enact and evaluate corrective measures.

To give guidance in this area, WHO, the International Association for Trauma Surgery and Intensive Care and the International Society of Surgery - Société Internationale de Chirurgie released Guidelines for trauma quality improvement programmes in June 2009. The Guidelines review the most common methods of quality improvement in trauma care in a how-to-do fashion, covering a wide range of techniques, intended to be universally applicable to all countries. Ideally, the techniques should lead to implementation of corrective strategies to fix problems that are identified, monitor the effectiveness of such strategies, and assure that they have had their intended effect.

The Guidelines also address the appropriateness of different techniques at different levels of the health care system. Noted too is that in many circumstances, there is a need to address improvements in data collection and usage to better assure timely, reliable, and adequate data on which to base interventions. Several case studies are provided in the annex of the Guidelines for practice in scrutinizing clinical data, identifying problems in care, and deriving practical and effective corrective strategies.

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