Background: Trauma centers are closing at an alarming rate, but the need for trauma care persists. This article shows the sustainability and feasibility of a joint trauma system whereby 2 university-affiliated hospitals function as a single trauma center system in a moderate-sized city. Methods: Since 1994, 3 days per week, trauma patients are transported by emergency medical services (EMS) to hospital A. The other 4 days they are transported to hospital B. Trauma registry data from 1994 to 2008 were analyzed. Cost data were also examined. Results: The joint system admitted 28,338 trauma patients. On each center's nontrauma days, trauma team activation was required infrequently. The 2 centers share costs; they perform joint outreach, educational training, and quality control. The joint trauma system has been sustained since 1994. Conclusions: Two hospitals functioning as a single trauma center system is a viable model of care for injured patients in a moderate-sized city with mostly blunt trauma.
- Joint trauma
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