The purpose of the trauma designation process is to ensure a consistent minimum level performance of trauma centers in Virginia and to promote continued improvement and development of experienced centers thereby reducing morbidity and mortality of the traumatically and thermally injured patients of all ages.
The process of designation is voluntary on the part of the hospitals in the Commonwealth. It is meant to identify those hospitals that will make a commitment to provide a given level of care for the seriously injured and/or burned patient and who welcome public acknowledgment of that capability. System knowledge of trauma and burn care capabilities, with improved prehospital categorization of trauma patients will help all those involved in the trauma and burn care delivery system make decisions that are in the best interest of the patient.
Virginia trauma center standards are based upon national standards put forth by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) (ACS/COT, Resources for the Optimal Care of the Injured Patient, 2006), the Resources for the Optimal Care of the Injured Patient (2014), and the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). Burn center criteria are based upon the American Burn Association’s (ABA) standards (ACS/COT, Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient 2006, Chapter 14, 2006). Neither set of standards is wholly adopted. Instead, stakeholder group input is utilized to adapt the standards to best fit the Virginia Trauma System. The State Board of Health (BOH) is the final approving body for these standards.
Trauma Center Criteria
The Virginia Trauma Center Designation Manual (Manual) provides information to hospitals, physicians, nurses, and administrators about trauma designation and verification in the Commonwealth of Virginia. This Manual contains the minimum criteria and standards effective January 1, 2015, for the five levels of trauma designation recognized within the Commonwealth of Virginia. Each trauma center must undergo a triennial verification survey to ensure they continue to meet the standards set forth in the Board of Health Approved Trauma Center Designation Manual.
Effective July 1, 2019 trauma centers will be reviewed using version 2015.4 of the Board of Health approved Virginia Trauma Center Designation Manual.