What are the costs of trauma center readiness? Defining and standardizing readiness costs for trauma centers statewide

Dennis W. Ashley*, Robert F. Mullins, Christopher J. Dente, Laura Garlow, Regina S. Medeiros, Elizabeth V. Atkins, Gina Solomon, Dena Abston, Colville H. Ferdinand, Amina Bhatia, Karen Hill, Peter Rhee, James Dunne, Rochelle Armola, Amy Wyrzkowski, Jim Sargent, John Cascone, Daphne Stitely, John Bleacher, Tracie WaltonClarence McKemie, Melissa Parris, Romeo Massoud, Steven Paynter, Kim Brown, Scott Hannay, Leslie Baggett, Nathan Creel, Jesse Gibson, Thomas Hawk, Heather Morgan, Barry Renz, Mark Gravlee, Aruna Mardhekar, Angelina Postoev, Melanie Cox, Kelly Mayfield, Jaina Carnes, Robert Campbell, Alex Jones, Robert Scheirer, Misty Mercer, Michael Thompson, Joni Napier, John Sy, Dana Shores, Brad Headley, Gail Thornton, Michael Williams, Karrie Page, Dennis Spencer, Michelle Benton, Garland Martin, Michelle Murphy, Walter Ingram, Kelli Scott, Fred Mullins, Farrah Parker, M. Joseph, J. Patrick O'neal, Renee Morgan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Trauma center readiness costs are incurred to maintain essential infrastructure and capacity to provide emergent services on a 24/7 basis. These costs are not captured by traditional hospital cost accounting, and no national consensus exists on appropriate definitions for each cost. Therefore, in 2010, stakeholders from all Level I and II trauma centers developed a survey tool standardizing and defining trauma center readiness costs. The survey tool underwent minor revisions to provide further clarity, and the survey was repeated in 2013. The purpose of this study was to provide a follow-up analysis of readiness costs for Georgia's Level I and Level II trauma centers. Using the American College of Surgeons Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient guidelines, four readiness cost categories were identified: Administrative, Clinical Medical Staff, Operating Room, and Education/Outreach. Through conference calls, webinars and face-to-face meetings with financial officers, trauma medical directors, and program managers from all trauma centers, standardized definitions for reporting readiness costs within each category were developed. This resulted in a survey tool for centers to report their individual readiness costs for one year. The total readiness cost for all Level I trauma centers was $34,105,318 (avg $6,821,064) and all Level II trauma centers was $20,998,019 (avg $2,333,113). Methodology to standardize and define readiness costs for all trauma centers within the state was developed. Average costs for Level I and Level II trauma centers were identified. This model may be used to help other states define and standardize their trauma readiness costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)979-990
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes


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