Improving emergency care through global collaboration.

Improving emergency care systems involves four key processes: 

  1. Performing an accurate assessment of the current status of emergency care
  2. Identifying and defining gaps so that local stakeholders can prioritize the reduction of the gaps and create a “road-map” for improvement
  3. Identifying and implementing resources to fill those gaps (including from the WHO toolkit) 
  4. Collecting baseline data and then monitoring both the implementation of the tools and the outcomes from the implementation to ensure that the desired effect is achieved 

The UCSF WHO Collaborating Centre for Emergency, Critical and Operative Care assists WHO as needed with these processes and, in particular, processes 3 and 4.  

WHO Toolkit Development

WHO Emergency Care Systems (ECS) toolkit 

Emergency care is, by definition, care to avert death and disability from potentially life-threatening conditions under time pressure. Often, a small intervention can mean the difference between a life lost and a person who goes on to live a long life as a contributing member of society. These interventions can be as simple as implementing a triage system or sharing the knowledge to perform life-saving procedures at just the right time. As dramatic as it may sound, the difference between life and death can be a matter of minutes, so it’s essential to have tools to help organize and standardize care in the emergency unit. 

While well-developed emergency-care systems have already implemented many, if not all of these tools, newer systems may find developing the tools to be incredibly time and labor intensive. To alleviate some of that burden, WHO has tapped into expert opinion from around the world to develop practical tools for emergency care. As a WHO Collaborating Centre, we join in providing that expertise, and in developing the tools themselves.

We’re working to support WHO’s development and deployment of an innovative kit that includes tools to identify infrastructure and equipment needs, basic emergency training and continuing education, and capacity-building programs tailored to specific regional needs.

Tools include: 

•    Triage Tool
•    Resuscitation Area Designation
•    Emergency Care Checklist
•    Standardized Clinical Chart
•    Basic Emergency Care (BEC) Course
•    Pre-course cases to supplement the BEC Course
•    Mobile App development for the BEC
•    Electronic BEC course development

To learn more about the tools in the WHO Emergency Care Systems Toolkit, visit our resources section.

Implementation Projects

Implementation and evaluation of pre-course cases for the BEC in Uganda

We are currently evaluating pre-course cases for the BEC in Uganda. Providers who routinely deliver emergency care but have had no dedicated training in the care of emergency conditions are divided into two groups: a control group who will participate in an in-person BEC course, and an intervention group who will attend the BEC in-person course and also receive the BEC pre-course cases. We’re trying to find out if the additional exposure to key concepts will improve the students’ knowledge acquisition and retention. 

Development of a WHO Emergency Care Systems Toolkit Implementation Advisory Board in Tanzania and Uganda

To ensure that we have local community input into the implementation of the WHO ECS Toolkit, we have gathered local stakeholders in Uganda and Tanzania to serve on an Advisory Board. This Board helps to ensure the implementation of all of our projects is collaborative, locally appropriate, and designed to create local ownership that will ensure sustainability.

Implementation of BEC in Tanzania

We have conducted several BEC courses in Tanzania and are currently crowd-funding to try to support additional courses to give providers tools to manage emergency conditions.  

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