Assessment of diagnostics capacity in hospitals providing surgical care in two Latin American states

Diagnostic services are an essential component of high-quality surgical, anesthesia and obstetric (SAO) care. Efforts to scale up SAO care in Latin America have often overlooked diagnostics capacity. This study aims to analyze the capacity of diagnostic services, including radiology, pathology, and laboratory medicine, in hospitals providing SAO care in the states of Chiapas, Mexico and Amazonas, Brazil.

A stratified cross-sectional evaluation of diagnostic capacity in hospitals performing surgery in Chiapas and Amazonas was performed using the Surgical Assessment Tool (SAT). National data sources were queried for indicators of diagnostics capacity in terms of workforce, infrastructure and diagnosis utilization. Fisher’s exact tests and chi-square tests were used to compare categorical variables between the private and public sector in Chiapas while descriptive statistics are used to compare Amazonas and Chiapas.

In Chiapas, 53% (n = 17) of public and 34% (n = 20) of private hospitals providing SAO care were assessed. More private hospitals than public hospitals could always provide x-rays (35% vs 23.5%) and ultrasound (85% vs 47.1%). However neither sector could consistently perform basic laboratory testing such as complete blood counts (70.6% public, 65% private). In Amazonas, 30% (n = 18) of rural hospitals were surveyed. Most had functioning x-ray machine (77.8%) and ultrasound (55.6%). The majority of hospitals could provide complete blood count (66.7%) but only one hospital (5.6%) could always perform an infectious panel. Both Chiapas and Amazonas had dramatically fewer diagnostic practitioners per capita in each state compared to the national average capacity.

Facilities providing SAO care in low-resource states in Mexico and Brazil often lack functioning diagnostics services and workforce. Scale-up of diagnostic services is essential to improve SAO care and should occur with emphasis on equitable and adequate resource allocation.

Preliminary radiological result after establishment of hospital-based trauma registry in level-1 trauma hospital in developing country setting, prospective cohort study.

Injuries are the second most common cause of disability, the fifth most common cause of healthy years of life lost per 1000 people and unfortunately 90% of mortality takes place in low-to middle-income countries. Trauma registries guide policymakers and health care providers in decision making in terms of resource allocation as well as enhancing trauma care outcomes. Furthermore data from these registries inform policy makers to decrease the rate of death and disability occurring as a result of injuries. We present our experience in setting up an orthopedic trauma registry and the first short term follow-up of radiological outcomes.

Our study is a non-funded, non-commercial, prospective cohort study that was registered at Research Registry. The primary objectives of our study included assessing pattern of injuries in patients with upper and lower limb skeletal trauma presenting to our tertiary care academic university hospital and their respective outcomes. Data was collected by the musculoskeletal service line team members supervised by an experienced research associate and trauma consultants. The work has been reported in line with the STROCSS criteria.

A total of 177 patients were included in this analysis, of whom 101 (57.1%) patients had lower limb fractures, 64(36.1%) patients ad upper limb fractures and 12 (6.8%) patients had both upper and lower limbs involved. A total of 189 upper and lower limb fracture cases were recorded. 176 patients (93.1%) underwent surgeries and 13(6.9%) were managed nonoperatively. Roentgenographic outcomes were assessed using radiological criteria for each bone fractured.

Establishing a trauma registry assists in identification of the pattern of injuries presenting to the hospital which helps in priority setting, care management and planning. This continuous audit of outcomes in turn, plays a significant role in quality improvement.