Trauma System Regionalization
In 2007, the Georgia Legislature through Senate Bill 60 established the Georgia Trauma Care Network Commission. The bill charges the Trauma Commission to create a trauma system for the State of Georgia and to act as the accountability mechanism for distribution of trauma system funds appropriated each fiscal year by the legislature.
In February 2009, the Trauma Commission approved a vision for the Georgia Trauma System and identified steps to move forward over a five-year period from 2009 through 2014. Pursuant to a review of Georgia’s trauma system by the American College of Surgeon’s Trauma System Consultation Program, the Trauma Commission identified a need for a comprehensive state trauma system plan that defines the system, its subsystems and structure, and establishes procedures and standards for implementation, monitoring and system performance improvement.
The Trauma Commission’s vision also identifies the need for a statewide trauma communications system. This need was the genesis for a Georgia Trauma Communications Center that will eliminate the time-consuming search for an appropriate Trauma Center with available resources in response to serious injuries.
The Georgia Trauma System will be comprised of regional systems and plans with a centralized and statewide Trauma Communications Center as the common component of a state trauma system. Each region will represent a trauma service area, which will accommodate overlapping and traditional patient catchment areas, transfer patterns, long-standing geographical service regions, and the locations of the state’s major trauma centers.
Each regional trauma system operates according to a Regional Trauma System Plan developed by the region’s Regional Trauma Advisory Committee (RTAC) and approved by the Trauma Commission. Each regional plan organizes existing and identifies additional resources needed to provide a comprehensive trauma care system to care for trauma patients from the moment of injury through rehabilitation. The RTAC will develop data-driven injury prevention programs appropriate for the local community and provide for regional system performance improvement and system plan maintenance.
At the core of the Georgia Trauma System is a single statewide Trauma Communications Center established to coordinate the needs of EMS providers to transport the seriously injured in each region with the capacity of all Trauma Centers in the state.
A regional Plan is to be developed by each Council using the guidance provided in the Regional Trauma System Planning Framework. The Framework is a planning guide for the development of regional Plans. Within the Framework is guidance on the components, organization and function of regional trauma systems, as well as an appendix on the suggested Plan development process.