Measuring quality of pre-hospital traumatic shock care-development and validation of an instrument for resource-limited settings

Health Sci Rep. 2021 Oct 14;4(4):e422. doi: 10.1002/hsr2.422. eCollection 2021 Dec.


Background and aims: Improving the quality of pre-hospital traumatic shock care, especially in low- and middle-income countries, is particularly relevant to reducing the large global burden of disease from injury. What clinical interventions represent high-quality care is an actively evolving field and often dependent on the specific injury pattern. A key component of improving the quality of care is having a consistent way to assess and measure the quality of shock care in the pre-hospital setting. The objective of this study was to develop and validate a chart abstraction instrument to measure the quality of trauma care in a resource-limited, pre-hospital emergency care setting.

Methods: Traumatic shock was selected as the tracer condition. The pre-hospital quality of traumatic shock care (QTSC) instrument was developed and validated in three phases. A content development phase utilized a rapid literature review and expert consensus to yield the contents of the draft instrument. In the instrument validation phase, the QTSC instrument was created and underwent end user and content validation. A pilot-testing phase collected user feedback and performance characteristics to iteratively refine draft versions into a final instrument. Accuracy and inter- and intra-rater agreement were calculated.

Results: The final QTSC instrument contains 10 domains of quality, each with specific criteria that determine how the domain is measured and the level of quality of care rendered. The instrument is over 90% accurate and has good inter- and intra-rater reliability when used by trained pre-hospital provider users in South Africa. Pre-hospital provider user feedback indicates the tool is easy to learn and quick to use.

Conclusion: We created and validated a novel chart abstraction instrument that can reliably and accurately measure the quality of pre-hospital traumatic shock care. We provide a systematic methodology for developing and validating a quality of care tool for resource-limited care settings.

Keywords: EMS; hemorrhage; pre‐hospital; quality; shock; trauma.