Progressive Reduction in Preventable Mortality in a State Trauma System Using Continuous Preventable Mortality Review to Drive Provider Education: Results of Analyzing 1,979 Trauma Deaths from 2015 to 2022

Charles D. Mabry, Benjamin Davis, Michael Sutherland, Ronald Robertson, Jennifer Carger, Deidre Wyrick, Terry Collins, Austin Porter, Kyle Kalkwarf

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The state legislature codified and funded the Arkansas Trauma System (ATS) in 2009. Quarterly preventable mortality reviews (PMRs) by the ATS began in 2015 and were used to guide state-wide targeted education to reduce preventable or potentially preventable (P/PP) deaths. We present the results of this PMR-education initiative from 2015 to 2022. STUDY DESIGN: The ATS uses a statistical sampling model of the Arkansas Trauma Registry to select ~40% of the deaths for quarterly review, reflecting the overall the Arkansas Trauma Registry mortality population. A multispecialty PMR committee reviews the medical records from prehospital care to death, and hospital and regional advisory council reviews for each death. The PMR committee assigns opportunities for improvement (OFIs), cause(s) of death, and the likelihood of preventability for each case. Education to improve trauma care includes annual state-wide trauma meetings, novel classes targeted at level III/IV trauma center hospital providers, trauma evidence-based guidelines, and PMR "pearls." RESULTS: We reviewed 1,979 deaths with 211 (10.6%) deaths judged to be P/PP deaths. There was a progressive decrease in P/PP deaths and OFIs for P/PP deaths. Five OFI types targeted by education accounted for 72% of the 24 possible OFI types in the P/PP cases, and 94% of the "contributory OFIs." Reductions in "delay in treatment" resulted in the most rapid decrease in P/PP deaths. CONCLUSIONS: Using ongoing PMR studies to target provider education led to a reduction in P/PP deaths and OFIs for P/PP deaths. Focusing on education designed to improve preventable mortality can result in a substantial decrease in P/PP deaths by 43% (14% to 8%) for trauma systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)426-434
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American College of Surgeons
Volume238
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine

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