Trauma System Regionalization

In 2007, the Georgia Legislature through Senate Bill 60 established the Georgia Trauma Commission.  The bill charged 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.

In recognition of the unique resources and capabilities of the various regions across the state, and in accordance with a statewide Trauma Plan, the Georgia Trauma System will be comprised of regional systems and plans.  Each region will be defined by current EMS program regions and 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 will operate 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 will organize existing capabilities and identify 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.

To assist in developing Regional Trauma System Plans, the Trauma Commission has developed Regional Trauma System Planning Framework (approved 0ctober 2009) to guide regional plan development. The Framework was originally written to address the Georgia Trauma Commission’s strategic plan, “Our Emerging Vision—A New Public Service for Georgians,” and suggested areas for improvement recognized during a trauma system review by the American College of Surgeon’s Trauma System Consultation Program in January 2009.