A trauma outreach program provided by a level i trauma center is an effective way to initiate peer review at referring hospitals and foster process improvements

Matthew C. Byrnes, Eric Irwin, Leslie Becker, Melissa Thorson, Gregory J Beilman, Patrick K Horst, Kevin Croston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The initial care of critically injured patients has profound effects on ultimate outcomes. The "golden hour" of trauma care is often provided by rural hospitals before definitive transfer. There are, however, no standardized methods for providing educational feedback to these hospitals for the purposes of performance improvement. We hypothesized that an outreach program would stimulate peer review and identify systematic deficiencies in the care of patients with injuries. METHODS:: We developed a quality improvement program aimed at providing educational feedback to hospitals that referred patients to our American College of Surgeons-verified level I trauma center. We traveled to each referral center to provide feedback on the initial treatment and ultimate outcome of patients that were transferred to us. These feedback sessions were presented in the format of case presentations and case discussions. RESULTS:: The outreach program was presented at each hospital every 3 months to 6 months. Nine hospitals were included in our program. We received 334 patients in transfer from these hospitals during the study period. Formal peer review that focused on trauma patients increased from 14% of hospitals to 100% of hospitals after institution of the program. Eighty-five percent of hospitals thought that the care of patients with injuries was improved as a result of the program. Eighty-five percent of hospitals developed process improvement initiatives as a result of the program. CONCLUSIONS:: A formal outreach program can stimulate peer review at rural hospitals, provide continuing education in the care of patients with injuries, and foster process improvements at referring hospitals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)778-782
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Volume68
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010

Keywords

  • Outreach
  • Peer review
  • Process improvement

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