Monday, 15 December 2014

Integrated trauma system success for Victoria

A study co-authored by Monash SPHPM’s Dr Belinda Gabbe has found a positive reduction in the incidence of death since the introduction of a state-wide trauma system over the past ten years.

According to the report, road traffic crashes accounted for 34 per cent of all years lived with disability attributed to injury globally in 2010.

It states that traumatic injury is a highly ‘time-sensitive’ disease, meaning that rapid provision of high-quality care is critical to prevent death and ongoing disability.

The paper highlighted that evidence has found when regional trauma care is readily available, there is a reduction in likelihood of death; a clear measure to reduce risk of mortality.

In the 1990s, growing evidence suggested that the annual decline in road traffic fatality rates that had slowed to 1 per cent per year could be improved by better trauma care service.

From this, the state changed to a recgonised and integrated trauma system funded by the State Government Department of Health and the TAC, with aimed to reduce trauma-related mortality and morbidity.

The Victorian State Trauma System (VSTS) was established in 2000 in response to the Review of trauma and emergency services 1999 (RoTES) report.

Key features of the VSTS as sourced from the Department of Health’s website are:
  • designation of two adult hospitals and one paediatric hospital as major trauma services (MTS) operating as the hub of an integrated system
  • statewide system organisation and management of trauma response
  • trauma triage and transfer protocols
  • enhanced retrieval and transfer services
  • education and training
  • research, service and technology developments
  • quality management

The study found that the implementation of an overarching trauma system positively contributed to the role of reducing the population burden of road traffic injury.

It concluded that since the introduction of a regionalized, inclusive trauma system in Victoria, there has been a significant decline in the incidence of mortality, reduced risk-adjusted mortality for hospitalized road transport–related major trauma patients and an overall reduction in burden related to road transport–related injury.

Read the full paper here.

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