HCA and Tampa-based USF Health announced they are forming a statewide trauma network to improve trauma care and centralize research in Florida.
About 38% of trauma patients in Florida receive treatment in a designated trauma center, below both the national average and the state’s goal to have 65% of trauma patients treated in a Florida licensed trauma center, HCA and USF Health said in a joint announcement.
“Getting a patient to a trauma center within the first hour of injury, or golden hour, drastically increases their chance of survival,” says Jonathan Perlin, MD, president of clinical services and CMO for HCA. “Research supported by the Centers for Disease Control shows trauma mortality is reduced when a seriously injured patient is treated at a trauma center versus a non-trauma hospital.”
In Florida, the leading cause of trauma injury is motor vehicle crashes, accounting for 43% of all injuries in 2008. Motor vehicle injury fatalities are strongly associated with the distance from a trauma center to the accident scene, according to the study A Comprehensive Assessment of the Florida Trauma Center, conducted by USF and UF for the Florida Department of Health. The study also notes that counties without trauma centers have higher mortality rates.
“It is absolutely critical that we expand access to trauma care to state-designated trauma service areas not currently being served,” Perlin says. “Trauma centers deliver superior outcomes for their patients and we are excited to have USF join us as we work to improve the access to quality trauma care in Florida.”
Five HCA hospitals across Florida and the University of South Florida College of Medicine will affiliate to create the Florida Trauma Research and Analysis Center, TRAC, a centralized statewide data collection for trauma research and coordination of services. TRAC’s focus on quality patient care and research will improve trauma care in the state, said Stephen Klasko, MD, dean of the USF College of Medicine and CEO of USF Health.