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Trauma Systems Development: A National Imperative

Geiger, Juliet MSN, RN; Whitney, Jolene R. MPA

doi: 10.1097/JTN.0b013e3181f51fc2
Guest Editorial

Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation, Rossmoyne Corporate Center, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania (Ms Geiger); and Utah Department of Health, Salt Lake City, Utah (Ms Whitney).

Correspondence: Juliet Geiger, MSN, RN, Pennsylvania Trauma Systems Foundation, Rossmoyne Corporate Center, 4999 Louise Dr, Ste 104, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055 ( or

It is with great pride that we present this special issue of Journal of Trauma Nursing (JTN) to our readers for a variety of reasons. First of all, it represents the first collaborative effort between the Society of Trauma Nurses and the Trauma System Managers Council of the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO). For those readers who are unfamiliar with NASEMSO, this organization is a 501 (c)(3) and was created in 1980 although the Trauma System Managers Council has been in existence only for 5 years. The mission, vision, and scope of the Trauma System Managers Council as described on its Web site are as follows.

Vision: To be a national leader in developing and maintaining a fully integrated and functioning trauma system that ensures universal access to high-quality trauma care in all states and territories.

Mission: To promote the advancement of statewide trauma systems through the development of state trauma system leadership and infrastructure.

Scope: The Trauma System Managers Council provides a forum for communication, interaction, and networking between peers, other national organizations, and federal agencies with similar missions. This forum allows for the sharing of best practices, developing and encouraging mentoring programs, the joint resolution of obstacles and challenges, and the nationwide promotion of evidence-based decision making. (Source:

Many members of NASEMSO are members of STN and vice versa, so when members of both groups started to discuss challenges with trauma system development efforts and best practices, the idea was born to join forces to create a trauma systems issue for the journal that would feature a variety of trauma systems based on maturity and variations in practices.

In the following issue, you will be enlightened by the experiences of various states that have approached trauma system development in a variety of ways and at different times. Articles are featured from pioneering states such as Maryland, Illinois, and Oregon that laid the groundwork for the rest of the country and from states such as Kansas, Minnesota, and Arizona that are in their infancy of trauma system development.

As you'll see, each state has taken a slightly different approach although every state has the same overarching principle of improving the care of all trauma patients using a systems approach.

As many of you read these articles and the differences between systems, you may be thinking about the unique qualities of your state. Perhaps you have a unique way of approaching performance improvement. Maybe your state trauma registry is doing innovative projects and using data to show improvement. Whatever it is, please don't keep it to yourself and consider submitting your practices for inclusion in a future issue of JTN. STN and NASEMSO share a common passion—networking and sharing of best practices. So let's keep the momentum going and share not only through our listservs and meetings but in written form as well. As Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” Let's keep our eyes on success as we continue to collaborate in meeting the needs of our trauma patients in an increasingly challenging economic climate.

© 2010 Society of Trauma Nurses