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ACUTE CARE, INC. Supports: The Minnesota Statewide Trauma System

Minnesota’s trauma system is a network of hospitals and ambulance services organized and coordinated to optimize the care provided to seriously injured people by ensuring that injured people are cared for at a hospital with resources that are matched with the injured persons’ needs.

In 2005 the Minnesota Legislature established a statewide trauma system and charged the Department of Health with implementation. Hospitals voluntarily participate in the trauma system by attaining designation as a Level 1, 2, 3 or 4 trauma hospital. Designation levels reflect the resource capabilities of the respective hospital, Level 1s having the greatest number of resources. It is not a ranking of the quality of care provided by the hospital.

The State Trauma Advisory Council was established by legislation to advise, consult with and make recommendations to the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health regarding the development, maintenance and improvement of the statewide trauma system.

The Commissioner of Health is charged to both seek the advice of the State Trauma Advisory Council (STAC) in implementing and updating the criteria and to adapt and modify the criteria as appropriate to accommodate Minnesota’s unique geography and the state’s hospital and health professional distribution. The latter requirement is aided by the contributions of Regional Trauma Advisory Committees (RTACs).

The statutory functions of the RTACs are to advise, consult with, and make recommendations to the STAC for regional modifications to the statewide trauma criteria that will improve patient care and accommodate specific regional needs.

States with a mature, comprehensive statewide trauma system have experienced:

  • A 9 percent decrease in motor vehicle crash deaths.
  • A 15-20 percent increase in the survival rates of seriously injured patients.
  • An increase in productive working years.
  • An improvement in disaster preparedness.

Minnesota’s trauma system recognizes the vital role that rural communities, ambulance services, hospitals and health care professionals play in the care and management of trauma patients.

Participation remains voluntary, but wide-scale involvement will ensure that a statewide, cooperative effort is in place to care for seriously injured people

ACUTE CARE, INC. supports the Minnesota Statewide Trauma System’s mission,  to create a voluntary, inclusive network of currently trained and equipped trauma care providers throughout the state ensuring that optimal trauma care is available and accessible everywhere.

Paul Hudson, FACHE
Chief Operating Officer