Last November, the Trauma Registry Rule became law. It requires EMS providers, hospital emergency departments and rehabilitation hospitals to report trauma cases to the state’s registry. But during a recent meeting, members of the Indiana State Trauma Committee learned that more and better data from hospitals, EMS and rehabilitation hospitals are needed.
Trauma or injury is the number one cause of mortality for Hoosiers under age 45 and the fifth most common killer of Hoosiers of all ages.
“Physicians can make sure their hospital is sending trauma data to the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), and encourage their local hospitals to participate in the trauma registry,” explained ISMA Past President David Welsh, M.D., a member of the committee. “The data helps determine where there are gaps in coverage.”
Currently, nine hospitals in the state are designated either Level I or Level II trauma centers. However, hospitals do not need to be certified facilities in order to provide data.
“The more data we have, the better the state can plan,” said Dr. Welsh, a Batesville surgeon. “The goal is to have patient access to a trauma center within 45 minutes because we know it improves mortality and morbidity. Only 58 percent of the state’s population lives within that time frame to reach a trauma center.”
Dr. Welsh encourages more hospitals to become certified to fill in the gaps.
“We don’t expect everyone to be a Level I, II or III trauma center but hospitals can work toward a basic trauma certification. Currently, the ACS (American College of Surgeons) is working on a Level 4 designation,” explained Dr. Welsh.
In September, he will introduce a resolution during the ISMA House of Delegates asking the ISMA to:
- Work with the Indiana State Department of Health, Homeland Security and the ACS to establish a statewide trauma care system
- Encourage physicians and hospitals to become involved in trauma care
- Work with the ACS and interested parties to seek funding for the implementation and maintenance of a statewide trauma care system
Read the latest report on Indiana’s trauma system here.