Oregon Trauma System: Change in Initial Admission Site and Post‐admission Transfer of Injured Patients

Jerris R. Hedges, Richard Mullins, Melanie Zimmer‐Gembeck, Mark Helfand, Patricia Southard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Objective:Associate statewide trauma system development with a change in the percentage of injured patients initially hospitalized at Levels I and II categorized trauma hospitals and a change in the length of stay (LOS) prior to arrival at a Level I or II hospital (PRE‐LOS) and total LOS (T‐LOS) for post‐admission transfer patients. Methods:A retrospective analysis was performed using a hospital discharge database of 235,395 discharges with codes for acute injury managed at 74 acute care hospitals in Oregon State from 1983 to 1991. Primary outcome measures were admission site and transfer patient PRE‐LOS and T‐LOS. Predictor variables included category of initial hospital admission site, injury severity scale (ISS) score, head injury, age, and status of trauma system (pre‐system, 1983 to 1987; transitional, 1988 to 1989; and post‐system, 1991 to 1992). Results:There was a significant increase in the percentage of initial admissions to hospitals with Level I or II categorization (17.6%, 26.2%, and 27.6% for the three periods of development, respectively; p < 0.00001). The percentage of patients with ISS scores greater than 15 admitted initially to Level I or II hospitals increased from 33.4% to 52.6% and 57.3%; p < 0.00001). Only 1,059 (0.57%) of 185,321 patients initially admitted to Level III, Level IV, or noncategorized hospitals were transferred to a Level I or II hospital. Mean PRE‐LOS for the 1,059 transferred patients showed a significant decrease with system development (2.3, 1.9, and 1.8 days, respectively; p < 0.02). When adjusted for age, ISS score, and head injury effects, mean T‐LOS was significantly reduced for the transitional and post‐system periods (p < 0.05). Conclusions:In Oregon, development of a statewide trauma system was associated with increased initial admissions to Level I and II trauma hospitals. For those patients transferred to higher levels of care post‐admission, hospital LOSs were decreased with trauma system development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-226
Number of pages9
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1994


  • abbreviated injury scale
  • injury outcomes research
  • injury severity score
  • length of stay
  • mortality rate
  • trauma system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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