Up to 30% of the global burden of disease is secondary to surgical conditions, most of which falls on those in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Ensuring that the quality of care delivered during outreach trips to address these conditions is foundational. Limited work has been done to develop and implement tools to assess and improve the quality of care for these trips. The purpose of this study was to identify candidate quality measures that address orthopaedic surgery outreach trips in LMICs.
We conducted a systematic review of MEDLINE/PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, Google Scholar, and other databases to identify candidate quality measures relevant to orthopaedic surgery outreach to LMICs. Quality measures were then categorized by system management, sustainability, or both system management and sustainability according to the framework and structures, processes, and outcomes of Bido et al according to the Donabedian domains.
Our initial search yielded 3,891 articles, 22 of which met the inclusion criteria. Seventy-nine candidate quality measures were identified. Regarding the framework of Bido et al, 55 of 79 (70%) were related to system management, 8 (10%) were related to sustainability, and 16 (20%) were related to both system management and sustainability. According to Donabedian domains, 43 of 79 (54%) were structure measures, 25 (32%) were process measures, and 11 (14%) were outcome measures.
Quality measures addressing orthopaedic surgery outreach trips are lacking in quantity and breadth, limiting the ability to assess and improve the safety and quality of care provided. The candidate quality measures identified disproportionately focus on systems management and structures, with few related to sustainability and few addressing outcomes. Patients receiving care on outreach trips would benefit from the implementation of the measures identified in this review and from the development of quality measures that capture all domains of care and emphasize outcomes.
Level of Evidence: