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BMC Health Services Research

, 13:79

Quality, performance, safety and outcomes


BackgroundIn organised trauma systems the process of care is the key to quality. Nevertheless, the optimal process of trauma care remains unclear due to lack of or inconclusive evidence. Because monitoring and improving the performance of a trauma system is complex, this study aimed to develop consensus-based process guidelines for trauma care in the Netherlands for severely injured patients.

MethodsA five-round Delphi study was conducted with 141 participants that represent all professions involved in trauma care. Sensitivity analyses were carried out to evaluate whether consensus extended across all professions and to detect possible bias.

ResultsConsensus was reached on 21 guidelines within 4 categories: timeliness, actions, competent teams and interdisciplinary process. Timeliness guidelines set specific critical limits and definitions for 10 time intervals in the time period from an emergency call until the patient leaves the trauma room. Action guidelines reflect aspects of appropriate care and strongly rely on the international Advanced Trauma Life Support principles. Competence guidelines include flow charts to assess the competence of prehospital and emergency department teams. Essential to competent teams are education and experience of all team members. The interdisciplinary process guideline focuses on cooperation, communication and feedback within and between all professions involved. Consensus was extended across all professions and no bias was detected.

ConclusionsIn this Delphi study, a large expert panel agreed on a set of guidelines describing the optimal process of care for severely injured trauma patients in the Netherlands. In addition to time intervals and appropriate actions, these guidelines emphasise the importance of team competence and interdisciplinary processes in trauma care. The guidelines can be seen as a description of a best practice and a new field standard in the Netherlands. The next step is to implement the guidelines and monitor the performance of the Dutch trauma system based on the guidelines.

AbbreviationsABCDEAirway Breathing Circulation Disability Exposure and Environment

ACSCOTAmerican College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma

ATLSAdvanced Trauma Life Support

EDEmergency Department

MMTMobile Medical Team

NGTNominal Group Technique.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1472-6963-13-79 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Elisabeth Maria Hoogervorst - Eduard Ferdinand van Beeck - Johan Carel Goslings - Pieter Dirk Bezemer - Joost Jan Lauren


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