To evaluate the quality of maternal clinical care, Immpact, a global
research initiative, developed an innovative method, called TRACE, to
\"trace adverse and favourable events in pregnancy care.\" It is based
on the confidential enquiry technique, whereby expert panels of health
care professionals assess the quality of health care provided to clients
in an adverse event, such as a maternal death.
This approach goes beyond the traditional confidential enquiry technique
in several ways. First, quality of care is assessed in cases of both
death and near misses (cases of life-threatening complications during
pregnancy, delivery, or postpartum). Second, it identifies instances of
good as well as substandard care, as opposed to assessing only
substandard care as traditional enquiry panels do. Finally, the TRACE
tool can be used to assess quality of care provided in community-based
programmes where no medical records or case notes are kept, such as in
the village midwife programme in Indonesia. This method provides a
qualitative explanation of why a maternal death or near miss occurs, and
can supplement quantitative assessments. The approach can be used to
generate recommendations for clinical practice in developing countries.
TRACE: A New Way to Measure Quality of Maternal Health Care, Immpact, University of Aberdeen, UK, 2 pp.
TRACE: A New Way to Measure Quality of Maternal Health Care.