In Canada, injury leads to more potential years of life lost and to greater costs than heart and stroke diseases combined. Furthermore, more than 50% of patients hospitalised following injury do not receive optimal care, 20% of injury deaths are estimated to be preventable and significant variations in injury mortality and morbidity have been observed across trauma centers in Canada, the UK, Australia and the USA. Over the past decades, emphasis on adherence to evidence-based processes of care (rewards for doing more) and rapid innovation in imaging and therapeutic techniques has led to an exponential rise in unnecessary tests and procedures. Whole body CT scan for minor trauma is just one example. Low-value clinical practices, defined as "the common use of a particular intervention when the benefits don't justify the potential harm or cost" consume up to 30% of healthcare budgets.
They expose patients to physical and psychological adverse events and put enormous pressure on healthcare budgets, thereby threatening accessible, universal health care. According to the Québec Medical Association, the inefficient use of resources costs more than $5 million per year and prevents the Québec health system from meeting the health needs of the population. The objective of the Canadian Program on Low-value Clinical Practices in Injury Care is to reduce the use of low-value clinical practices for injury admissions.
The results of this study should directly lead to improvements in the health system in Québec and elsewhere. Medium and long-term advantages include an increase in healthcare efficiency and effectiveness, a reduction in costs, an increase in the availability of resources for patients who need them and a reduction in adverse events for patients hospitalized following injury.