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Perceptions of health providers towards the use of standardised trauma form in managing trauma patients: a qualitative study from Tanzania

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BACKGROUND:Trauma registries (TRs) are essential to informing the quality of trauma care within health systems. Lack of standardised trauma documentation is a major cause of inconsistent and poor availability of trauma data in most low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), hindering the development of TRs in these regions. We explored health providers' perceptions on the use of a standardised trauma form to record trauma patient information in Tanzania. METHODS:An exploratory qualitative research using a semi-structured interview guide was carried out to purposefully selected key informants comprising of healthcare providers working in Emergency Units and surgical disciplines in five regional hospitals in Tanzania. Data were analysed using a thematic analysis approach to identify key themes surrounding potential implementation of the standardised trauma form. RESULTS:Thirty-three healthcare providers participated, the majority of whom had no experience in the use of standardised charting. Only five respondents had prior experience with trauma forms. Responses fell into three themes: perspectives on the concept of a standardised trauma form, potential benefits of a trauma form, and concerns regarding successful and sustainable implementation. CONCLUSION:Findings of this study revealed wide healthcare provider acceptance of moving towards standardised clinical documentation for trauma patients. Successful implementation likely depends on the perceived benefits of using a trauma form as a tool to guide clinical management, standardise care and standardise data reporting; however, it will be important moving forward to factor concerns brought up in this study. Potential barriers to successful and sustainable implementation of the form, including the need for training and tailoring of form to match existing resources and knowledge of providers, must be considered.

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