Impact of a voluntary trauma system on mortality, length of stay, and cost at a level I trauma center.

Academic Article


  • Trauma systems have been shown to decrease injury-related mortality; however, their development has been slow often requiring legislative codification. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of a voluntary regional trauma system on outcomes at a Level I trauma center. We conducted a retrospective cohort study in an American College of Surgeons-verified Level I trauma center including all patients admitted to a Level I trauma center during the periods April 1995 through March 1996 (T-1) and April 1997 through March 1998 (T-2). Our main outcome measures were in-hospital mortality, hospital length of stay, cost of care Compared with T-1 patients T-2 patients had lower mortality (odds ratio 0.48, 95% confidence interval 0.32-0.71). A similar decline in mortality was observed for the entire six-county region compared with the remainder of the state. Among the most severely injured patients (Injury Severity Score > or = 16) T-2 patients had a shorter length of stay (16.5 vs 19.5 days; P < 0.05) and lower mean cost of care ($29,795 vs $34,983; P < 0.05). A voluntary trauma system can be implemented without the need for legislative mandate. After system implementation patient and financial outcomes were improved at an individual Level I trauma center.
  • Published In

  • American Surgeon  Journal
  • Keywords

  • Adult, Alabama, Female, Health Services Research, Hospital Costs, Hospital Mortality, Hospitals, University, Humans, Length of Stay, Male, Outcome and Process Assessment (Health Care), Program Evaluation, Regional Medical Programs, Retrospective Studies, Trauma Centers, Triage, Wounds and Injuries
  • Author List

  • Abernathy JH; McGwin G; Acker JE; Rue LW
  • Start Page

  • 182
  • End Page

  • 192
  • Volume

  • 68
  • Issue

  • 2