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The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1752-2897-8-11) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
All the authors declare that there is no financial support or relationship that may pose conflict of interest.
JCS and EWMdJ conducted the research and wrote the article under the direct supervision of NWLS and JCG. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Since time intervals are used to determine quality of trauma care, it is relevant to know how reliable those intervals can be measured. The aim of our study was to assess the reliability of time intervals as recorded in our hospital databases.
Patients and methods
We conducted a prospective study on time intervals in our level-1 trauma centre and compared those with the routinely recorded data from February 2012 to June 2012. A convenience sample of all trauma patients admitted to our trauma room was included. The routinely recorded time intervals were retrieved from computerised hospital databases. The dedicated time registration was done on a standardised form on which five time intervals considered clinically relevant were evaluated for each patient by a dedicated person: trauma room time, time to start CT, imaging time, time from trauma room to ICU and time from trauma room to intervention.
In a sample of 100 trauma patients dedicated registered trauma room time was median 47 minutes (IQR = 32-63), compared to 42 minutes (IQR = 28-56) in routinely recorded in hospital databases (P < 0.001). Time to start of CT scanning differed significantly as well, with again an increased time interval measured dedicatedly (median 20 minutes (IQR = 15-28)) compared to the routinely recorded time registration (median 13 minutes (IQR = 4-21)). The other time intervals recorded did not differ between the dedicated and routinely recorded registration. Bland-Altman plots also showed that there is considerable discrepancy between the two measurement methods with wide limits of agreement.
This study shows that routinely recorded time intervals in the trauma care setting differ statistically significant from dedicatedly registered intervals.