Trauma case review: A quality and safety feature of the Victorian State Trauma System

Carolyn Pinto, Peter A Cameron, Belinda Gabbe, Susan McLellan, Tony Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The aim of the present study was to describe the trauma case review process and its role in a regionalised trauma system. Victoria has a population of 5.9 million people, accounting for 26% of Australia's population. Victoria has been serviced by an inclusive, organised trauma system since 2000 comprising 138 health services with trauma designations and three major trauma services. Pre- and interhospital guidelines prescribe the timely transport of patients to the appropriate level of trauma service. A review of the role and contribution of 10 years of operation of the trauma case review group (CRG) was undertaken to describe the aims, processes and governance surrounding the implementation of an individual case review for specified major trauma patients. Specified patients were those identified by the Victorian State Trauma Registry as being managed outside of established Victorian State Trauma System prehospital and interhospital guidelines. A state-wide trauma case review process was implemented across the trauma system using data-informed detection flags and screening criteria. Using data from the Victorian State Trauma Registry, detection flags were correlated with patients at risk of a poorer outcome, thereby ensuring that all patients managed outside of the requirements of established trauma triage and transfer guidelines were subject to review. The CRG provides an individual review process as a technique for assessing and monitoring major trauma patient care and compliance with trauma system triage and transfer guidelines. The process has been effective as a quality and safety strategy by improving clinician knowledge of major trauma triage and transfer guidelines and facilitating improved compliance, particularly with interhospital transfers. Strong compliance has been achieved from health services with the requirement to internally review and respond to CRG concerns regarding ‘high-risk’ trauma cases. Anecdotal feedback from health services regarding participation in the CRG process has been positive. The trauma case review process is an embedded feature of the Victorian State Trauma System that aims to improve compliance with major trauma guidelines by reviewing major trauma cases that have been managed outside of established triage and transfer guidelines. All trauma-designated Victorian health services, Ambulance Victoria and Victorian adult and paediatric patient retrieval services might receive trauma cases for review. The process is also an integral component of trauma system clinical governance, which enables the identification of system-level issues for escalation to the State Trauma Committee and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-129
Number of pages5
JournalEmergency Medicine Australasia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • case review
  • health service
  • major trauma
  • quality and safety
  • trauma

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