Quality Indicators Targeting Low-Value Clinical Practices in Trauma Care

Lynne Moore, Mélanie Bérubé, Pier Alexandre Tardif, François Lauzier, Alexis Turgeon, Peter Cameron, Howard Champion, Natalie Yanchar, Fiona Lecky, John Kortbeek, David Evans, Éric Mercier, Patrick Archambault, François Lamontagne, Belinda Gabbe, Jérôme Paquet, Tarek Razek, Henry Thomas Stelfox

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Importance: The use of quality indicators has been shown to improve injury care processes and outcomes. However, trauma quality indicators proposed to date exclusively target the underuse of recommended practices. Initiatives such as Choosing Wisely publish lists of practices to be questioned, but few apply to trauma care, and most have not successfully been translated to quality indicators. Objective: To develop a set of evidence and patient-informed, consensus-based quality indicators targeting reductions in low-value clinical practices in acute, in-hospital trauma care. Design, Setting, and Participants: This 2-round Research and Development/University of California at Los Angeles (RAND/UCLA) consensus study, conducted from April 20 to June 9, 2021, comprised an online questionnaire and a virtual workshop led by 2 independent moderators. Two panels of international experts from Canada, Australia, the US, and the UK, and local stakeholders from Québec, Canada, represented key clinical expertise involved in trauma care and included 3 patient partners. Main Outcomes and Measures: Panelists were asked to rate 50 practices on a 7-point Likert scale according to 4 quality indicator criteria: importance, supporting evidence, actionability, and measurability. Results: Of 49 eligible experts approached, 46 (94%; 18 experts [39%] aged ≥50 years; 37 men [80%]) completed at least 1 round and 36 (73%) completed both rounds. Eleven quality indicators were selected overall, 2 more were selected by the international panel and a further 3 by the local stakeholder panel. Selected indicators targeted low-value clinical practices in the following aspects of trauma care: (1) initial diagnostic imaging (head, cervical spine, ankle, and pelvis), (2) repeated diagnostic imaging (posttransfer computed tomography [CT] and repeated head CT), (3) consultation (neurosurgical and spine), (4) surgery (penetrating neck injury), (5) blood product administration, (6) medication (antibiotic prophylaxis and late seizure prophylaxis), (7) trauma service admission (blunt abdominal trauma), (8) intensive care unit admission (mild complicated traumatic brain injury), and (9) routine blood work (minor orthopedic surgery). Conclusions and Relevance: In this consensus study, a set of consensus-based quality indicators were developed that were informed by the best available evidence and patient priorities, targeting low-value trauma care. Selected indicators represented a trauma-specific list of practices, the use of which should be questioned. Trauma quality programs in high-income countries may use these study results as a basis to select context-specific quality indicators to measure and reduce low-value care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-514
Number of pages8
JournalJAMA Surgery
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

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