Objective: To introduce a measure assessing statewide hospital admission patterns for trauma and evaluate its utility in identifying significant admission redistributions in neighboring states as a function of trauma system implementation.
Methods: A retrospective claims database analysis was performed of hospitalized trauma patients in Washington and Oregon. The site of hospitalization and diagnostic information were used to determine an admission rate difference for each hospital: the rate of index patient admissions minus the rate of non-index patient admissions. Mean admission rate differences for Level II and III versus other hospitals in each state were compared as a function of time.
Results: A bias in favor of admitting more serious injuries to Level II and III hospitals was seen with trauma system implementation in both states, but it was more pronounced in the Oregon trauma system.
Conclusion: Assessment of admission rate differences is a helpful method of characterizing the evolution of statewide trauma systems.
From the Departments of Emergency Medicine (N.C.M., J.R.H., A.D.Z.) and Surgery (R.S., W.W., R.J.M.), Oregon Health Sciences University, School of Medicine, Portland, Oregon; and the Department of Surgery (G.J.J.), University of Washington, School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington.
Presented at the Seventh International Conference on Emergency Medicine, March 25-29, 1998, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
This study was supported by grant R49/CCR-006283 from the U.S. Public Health Service, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.
The authors are solely responsible for the content of the article, and the opinions do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Address for reprints: N. Clay Mann, PhD, MS, Department of Emergency Medicine, CR-114, Oregon Health Sciences University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97201-3098; e-mail: email@example.com.