Improving the Quality of Trauma and Acute Surgical Care in Northern Quebec: Quantifying Current Capacity to Target Future Interventions


Background: Northern Quebec presents unique challenges making it difficult to deliver trauma care due to its remoteness, extreme weather conditions, lack of transport systems, and shortage of health care professionals. To evaluate the trauma and surgical portfolio of Nunavik, we propose the use of validated assessment tools previously implemented in under-resourced settings overseas.

Methods: Validated assessment tools such as the Personnel, Infrastructure, Procedures, Equipment and Supplies (PIPES) tool, INTACT index, and the Maryland Health Care Commission Telemedicine Readiness tool were developed and adapted to the context of Northern Quebec through a literature search on PubMed as well as through local feedback from the DPS, Quality Improvement Department, and the Trauma & Acute Care Research Lab of McGill. Data is collected through dissemination of questionnaires and interviews with administrators and clinicians of Kuujjuaq’s Centre de Santé Tulattavik de l’Ungava (CSTU) and Puvirnituq’s Inuulitisivik Health Centre (IHC) as well as its six respective catchment areas. Descriptive statistics is used to describe the INTACT index.

Results: The INTACT index, PIPES tool and the Telehealth Readiness tool were successfully developed and adapted to the context of Nunavik. This was accomplished through feedback from local healthcare leadership: the DPS and the Quality Improvement Department. Quantitative data is currently being collected.

Conclusions: Dissemination of questionnaires to local healthcare professionals and administrators permitted the evaluation of current trauma and acute surgical care of 14 facilities in Nunavik. In order to translate the findings into quality improvement and accessibility, further evaluation must be done to assess the openness and readiness of staff to adjust current workflows.

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