After an unsuccessful American College of Surgery Committee on Trauma visit, our level I trauma center initiated an improvement program that included (1) hiring new personnel (trauma director and surgeons, nurse coordinator, orthopedic trauma surgeon, and registry staff), (2) correcting deficiencies in trauma quality assurance and process improvement programs, and (3) development of an outreach program. Subsequently, our trauma center had two successful verifications. We examined the longitudinal effects of these efforts on volume, patient outcomes and finances.The Trauma Registry was used to derive data for all trauma patients evaluated in the emergency department from 2001 to 2007. Clinical data analyzed included number of admissions, interfacility transfers, injury severity scores (ISS), length of stay, and mortality for 2001 to 2007. Financial performance was assessed for fiscal years 2001 to 2007. Data were divided into patients discharged from the emergency department and those admitted to the hospital.Admissions increased 30%, representing a 7.6% annual increase (p = 0.004), mostly due to a nearly fivefold increase in interfacility transfers. Severe trauma patients (ISS >24) increased 106% and mortality rate for ISS >24 decreased by 47% to almost half the average of the National Trauma Database. There was a 78% increase in revenue and a sustained increase in hospital profitability.A major hospital commitment to Committee on Trauma verification had several salient outcomes; increased admissions, interfacility transfers, and acuity. Despite more seriously injured patients, there has been a major, sustained reduction in mortality and a trend toward decreased intensive care unit length of stay. This resulted in a substantial increase in contribution to margin (CTM), net profit, and revenues. With a high level of commitment and favorable payer mix, trauma center verification improves outcomes for both patients and the hospital.
View details for DOI 10.1097/TA.0b013e3181a51b2f
View details for Web of Science ID 000267953100035
View details for PubMedID 19590334