To make sure trauma patients with serious, emergent injuries receive the most advanced, efficient and coordinated care possible, the Utah Department of Health Bureau of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) began developing a statewide trauma system.
The statewide trauma system begins work as soon as paramedics and EMTs are deployed to the injury scene, and continues as the patient is transported by ambulance or helicopter, receives treatment at the hospital, and follow-up care and rehabilitation. Hospitals participating in this statewide trauma system are designated as trauma centers.
Logan Regional Hospital is a level III trauma center. To earn trauma center designation, a hospital must meet a stringent standard of quality care and establish a trauma response team, which is always ready immediately upon a patient's arrival to assess, resuscitate, stabilize and either treat or transfer the patient.
The Bureau of EMS has defined five levels of trauma designation for hospitals:
- A level I trauma center provides the highest level of technology and physician expertise and serves as a regional facility.
- A level II trauma center provides a high level of technology and physician access. These centers can meet almost all patient needs except transplants and burns.
- A level III trauma center has the technology and physician expertise to treat many emergent medical and surgical needs. Patients with severe head injuries, burns, or other critical injuries are stabilized and transported to a level I or level II facility.
- Level IV and V trauma centers are smaller rural facilities providing initial evaluation, stabilization and transfer to a higher level of care.
Why are trauma centers important? Trauma center designation signifies a higher standard of care with improved treatment and outcomes for patients. The designation applies to not only the emergency room, but to the standard of care provided throughout the hospital.