Tools to help build resilient emergency care systems.

WHO Basic Emergency Care (BEC) Course

The BEC course is a 5-day course focusing on basic interventions that can be performed in any healthcare facility to save lives. Designed for front-line physicians and nurses, the course focuses on life-saving interventions for acutely ill patients suffering trauma, difficulty in breathing, shock, and altered mental status. The course is freely available, open source, and includes a participant manual, facilitator guide, lecture slides, hands-on skills training tools, and pre- and post-tests.  

The course was developed with the input of over 50 emergency care practitioners from around the globe and underwent several rounds of pilot testing prior to release. It is a joint collaboration between WHO and the International Committee of the Red Cross in conjunction with the International Federation for Emergency Medicine. 

BEC Pre-Course Cases

The UCSF Collaborating Centre for Emergency and Trauma Care mapped all of the learning objectives and key concepts of the BEC and turned them into 32 easy-to-follow cases. These cases show the learner what the application of this knowledge looks like when caring for patients in real life.

BEC Mobile Application

Now Available!

Short training courses are much easier to deliver in low-resource settings, but there is always a concern about how much the students will retain, especially when trying to recall information under stress. The BEC App is designed to be used at the patient’s bedside to guide clinicians through the assessment and management of the most dangerous, life-threatening conditions and to help them stabilize the patient. It also contains reference resources for providers who need to look up life-saving information during patient care or just refresh their knowledge when they have some downtime.

  • For the iOS version of the app click here
  • For the Android version of the app click here

WHO Triage Tool

*Under development

Patients should not necessarily be treated in the order in which they arrive, but in order of disease severity and the potential for successful treatment. Triage is this process of prioritizing treatment that will make a difference and is essential to the philosophy of emergency care. Because life- or livelihood-threatening conditions are not always obvious, all emergency care patients should be triaged.  

In well-funded facilities, triage usually happens automatically on arrival, but this is not the case in most low- and middle-income countries. Additionally, triage tools that work in wealthier places may not be applicable in low-resource settings. The goal is to provide a triage system that works everywhere.
The WHO Triage Tool was developed with an expert group which reviewed best-practice guidelines and examples of triage tools from around the world. This tool has subsequently undergone several rounds of review by practitioners from across the globe. 

WHO Resuscitation Area Designation

Now available!

We can save lives by quickly identifying patients whose conditions require rapid intervention. A standardized approach using a designated “resuscitation area” helps to clearly identify those patients—if a patient is in a resuscitation bed, they need to be attended to immediately. This ensures that the patients most at risk in the emergency unit are recognized by all staff and receive necessary life-saving care rapidly. 

Having a dedicated resuscitation area also allows the facility to keep essential supplies and medication nearby. WHO has worked with its partners to develop brief guidelines for the designation of a resuscitation area, as well as defining the resources that should be available there.

WHO Standardized Clinical Forms 

Now Available!

The Standardized Clinical Forms (a general Emergency Care Form and a specific Trauma Care Form) were developed to help standardize and improve care. The “tick box” and “fill in the blank” format prompts practitioners to perform key assessment and clinical care tasks and allow for data to be collected easily for quality improvement activities. Both forms are designed to be printed on a single, two-sided sheet of paper and come with “quick cards” that prompt the clinician to check for specific findings and enter data, as well as to watch for life-threatening conditions.

While data collection can be expensive and time consuming, these Standardized Forms use the clinical record to streamline data collection without creating duplicate work. WHO has also developed an Emergency Care Registry that helps countries or facilities analyze and evaluate their data and make qualitative improvements in their care delivery. 

WHO Emergency Care Checklists

General Emergency Care Checklist

*Under development

The Emergency Care Checklists is a simple tool designed for use in emergency units for the acutely ill and injured. It reviews actions at two critical points during the patient’s stay in the emergency unit–immediately after the first evaluation, and when the patient is being transferred from the emergency unit–to ensure that no life-threatening conditions are missed, and that timely, live-saving interventions are performed.

Developed and validated through a large global collaboration, the WHO Trauma Care Checklist is appropriate in any emergency care setting and is easy to adapt to local needs.

WHO Trauma Care Checklist

The Who Trauma Care Checklist is a simple tool, designed to be used in emergency units, that offers a systematic approach to providing the key life-saving elements of initial trauma care. The checklist helps providers review key actions at critical points during their care of a patient.

WHO Essential Resources for Emergency Care

*Under development

This document outlines all of the essential resources needed for an emergency care system, both at the country level as well as the facility level. It is a guide for Ministries of Health and other local stakeholders. Not only does it provide an overview of all of the components of a functional emergency care system, it also provides guidance on how to use WHO resources to help countries and stakeholders address any identified areas for improvement.