Trauma center maturation: Quantification of process and outcome

Andrew B. Peitzman*, Anita P. Courcoulas, Christine Stinson, Anthony O. Udekwu, Timothy R. Billiar, Brian G. Harbrecht

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Background and Objective: The regional trauma system with the trauma center as its center is a model for health care networks. However, trauma center maturation has not been defined in the literature. The authors' hypothesis was that maturation of the trauma center would affect quantitatively both process and patient outcome. Materials and Methods: A total of 15,303 trauma patients were admitted from 1987 to 1995. Annual admissions increased from 813 to 2669. Resources were generated as patient volume increased. Time to the operating room, length of stay, and complications were determined. TRISS methodology was used to calculate z scores and w values to compare actual with predicted mortality rates. Results: Time to the operating room for laparotomy decreased from 62 ± 73 to 35 ± 47 minutes, from 32 ± 32 to 20 ± 17 minutes in hypotensive patients, and for craniotomy decreased from 88 ± 54 to 67 ± 49 minutes. The incidence of infectious, airway, neurologic, orthopedic, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and procedure-related complications declined significantly. Z scores and w values increased for penetrating and blunt injuries. Deaths for patients with ISS >15 declined significantly. Hospital length of stay decreased for all ranges of injury severity. Conclusions: As the trauma center matured, the process of delivering patient care became more efficient. The result was improved survival, fewer complications, and a shorter length of stay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-94
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1999
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Trauma center maturation: Quantification of process and outcome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this