Trauma Services BC has partnered with the BC Patient Safety & Learning System (BCPSLS) to launch a system-wide mortality review process aimed at reducing adverse outcomes and preventable deaths related to trauma cases across the province.

Trauma Services BC is a Provincial Health Services Authority program responsible for ensuring the optimal performance of BC’s trauma system. It is committed to ensuring all British Columbians have access to a comprehensive, integrated, and inclusive provincial trauma system that provides efficient, high-quality care and actively supports effective injury prevention.    

Over 700,000 people suffer injuries in BC each year and around 1,100 of them die following hospitalization. In order to gain a better understanding of the factors leading to death following injury, Trauma Services BC approached BCPSLS to develop an electronic platform to support its newly established provincial quality improvement program. The program, called Performance Improvement and Patient Safety (PIPS), looks to continuously evaluate performance in care delivery, reduce unnecessary variation in service, and prevent adverse events by focusing on system-level trauma processes, guidelines, and policies.

“Our vision at Trauma Services BC is that British Columbia achieves the lowest burden of injury anywhere in North America,” says Dr. David Evans, Medical Director for Trauma Services BC and a trauma surgeon at Vancouver General Hospital. “One of the ways we hope to do that is by taking a much closer look at how, where, when and why people die after injury.”

The new trauma mortality review module standardizes how cases of trauma mortality are reviewed across BC. Through the secure, centralized, electronic platform, site and regional quality improvement programs will be provided a comprehensive tool to monitor and evaluate trauma deaths and identify ways to reduce preventable deaths.

The change enables regional trauma programs to host multi-agency reviews to promote system-wide learning. Information can, for the first time, be stored and confidentially shared at the provincial level between the health authorities and BC Emergency Health Services who work together to review these cases. Learning can then be circulated broadly.

Over the past year, to strengthen the information available to drive system-wide improvement, Trauma Services BC has secured information sharing agreements, linked the BC Trauma Registry to external databases, and refined the quality and efficiency of data collection across sites. Dr. Evans adds:

“Through all of this, we hope to identify ways to provide better care to injured patients and, even more importantly, identify opportunities to prevent injury-related death in the first place.”

The Performance Improvement and Patient Safety (PIPS) program has established a provincial committee to review annual mortality rates and look for opportunities to improve care. In addition, the committee will examine select cases from the regional trauma programs, evaluating these cases along with the conclusions of local mortality review committees to support system-wide learning. It’s expected that provincial standards, protocols and guidelines for trauma care will evolve from this work.

The collaboration between BCPSLS and Trauma Services BC to develop a provincial framework to provide a quality-focused look at injury resulting in hospital death is a BC innovation. It is expected that quality improvement will be streamlined across trauma programs, and that opportunities for improvement will be shared among trauma care providers and managers across the province.

For more information, please contact Beide Bekele, Program Lead, Trauma Services BC, at

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