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Office of Emergency Medical Services and Preparedness

Utah Department of Health

Trauma

Utah Trauma Systems

Time-sensitive acute medical emergencies can result in death or severe disability in a matter of minutes. The Utah Trauma Systems of Care creates high-level operational guidelines based on national criteria to help identify, triage and treat time-sensitive traumatic injuries quickly and effectively.

To improve trauma patient health outcomes in Utah, regional systems of trauma and emergency medical care were established in 2014. When a person suffers a traumatic injury, transporting this person in a timely manner to the closest appropriate hospital/medical center fir definitive care is a high priority.  At this critical time a patient does not have a voice to freely choose what care he or she will receive, or who will provide the care. Regional systems of trauma care have established local guidelines with respect to local circumstances and resources that influence patient care decisions including patient triage, transport destination, transfer, and hospital bypass.

Organized local trauma systems provide a professional forum where EMS agencies, hospitals, and trauma centers can use surveillance-related medical evidence to advocate for policies that support decisions based on patient medical need. Local trauma systems provide a forum to also discuss the regional trauma care system and appropriate patient care distribution and triage to reduce overcrowding in emergency departments. A coordinated local trauma system can ensure that severely injured patients get the best and quickest care available.

Utah Code Title 26 Chapter 8a section 250 directs the BEMSP to establish a statewide trauma system focused on improving patient health outcomes. Utah’s Trauma System Advisory Committee (TSAC) includes representatives from urban and rural trauma centers across the state. Based on direction provided by the TSAC, Utah monitors and tracks established trauma audit filters designed to identify trauma patients who did not meet an ideal expectation of trauma care.

Designated trauma centers provide specialized care for patients who suffer traumatic injuries, in contrast to patients who are sick or ill. Level 1 trauma centers provide the highest level of surgical care to trauma patients, and being treated in these centers increases chances of survival for patients suffering severe injuries. The American College of Surgeons verifies the presence of required resources, staffing, and patient volume. The State of Utah designates and recognizes specific medical facilities capable of providing specialized trauma care. Utah has three Level I trauma centers including Intermountain Medical Center, University of Utah Health Care, and Primary Children’s Hospital.

There are five Level II trauma centers in Utah including Ogden Regional Medical Center, McKay-Dee Hospital, St. Mark’s Hospital, St. George Hospital and Utah Valley Regional Hospital. Additionally, there are six level III and 20 Level IV Trauma Centers.

Utah has 34 trauma centers that can provide a high level of care to trauma patients across the entire state. Trauma cases have more than doubled over the last 10 years. As a direct result of the state-waide trauma system, death rates have decreased at a proportional rate. 

Utah Trauma Program Manager Forum (UTPMF)

The mission of the Utah Trauma Program Manager Forum (UTPMF) is to promote and improve trauma care in Utah by encouraging development, collaboration, evidenced based best practices, education, performance improvement activities and injury prevention in trauma care throughout the state.

UTPMF Bylaws