April 26, 2019

Hospitals retain highest trauma program status

Madison, Wis. — Following a rigorous review process, University Hospital and American Family Children's Hospital, both part of UW Health, have been re-verified as Level I adult and pediatric trauma centers.

The reverifications come from the American College of Surgeons (ACS), which identifies hospitals that have the resources to deliver optimal trauma care with some of the best outcomes in the nation.

The nearly 500 ACS requirements for reverification include a team of 20 medical and surgical trauma specialists available 24 hours a day; specially trained staff able to operate a wide variety of highly specialized diagnostic and treatment equipment; 24-hour comprehensive clinical lab services; designated operating room and staff available 24 hours a day; and public education programs on injury prevention. Both University Hospital and American Family Children’s Hospital have full-time, injury-prevention coordinators.

The reverification process includes a two-day site visit to the trauma centers and involves every department in the hospital plus emergency medical services and Med Flight.

"Even though our program has been identified as a top performer, our team continues to push for even better coordination and improvement of services for trauma patients and their families," said Dr. Ann O'Rourke, medical director of the Level I adult program.

Trauma centers must be reverified every three years using the guidelines in the ACS manual called Resources for the Optimal Care of the Injured Patient.

In 2018, there were 3500 adult traumas including blunt force trauma, falls and motor vehicle crashes.

There were 615 pediatric traumas in 2018. Most cases were falls, motor vehicle crashes, children struck by an object, and assault. University Hospital is the only hospital in the state to be verified as Level I for both adult and pediatric trauma as well as a verified burn center. That distinction is held by only 12 centers throughout the United States.