Hospitals in today’s value-based care environment are focused on delivering the highest quality of care to patients while prioritizing healthcare services within finite resources. An American College of Surgeons (ACS)-verified trauma center – considered the gold standard trauma verification attainable – is a value-based endeavor that allows hospitals to deliver the highest standard of trauma care to patients while providing significant benefits to the organization and community.
Surgical Affiliates – a national leader in establishing high-quality trauma and acute care surgical hospitalist programs – offers our hospital partners unequaled knowledge and expertise in acquiring and maintaining ACS trauma center verification. This distinctive, enhanced level of verification extends beyond state verification requirements in providing hospitals with evidence-based protocols that significantly elevate the standard of trauma care. Our surgeon-led corporate leadership team has extensive experience as both the American College of Surgeons and state-specific site reviewers, giving our hospital partners an effective depth of leadership and experience during every phase of the ACS verification process. Established by the American College of Surgeons in 1987, the Committee on Trauma (COT) Consultation/Verification Program for Hospitals promotes the development of trauma centers that provide the hospital resources necessary for trauma care as well as the entire spectrum of care to address the needs of all injured patients.
Leveraging our extensive experience in site verifications, Surgical Affiliates works hand-in-hand with our hospital partners in helping their trauma programs achieve and maintain ACS verification standards – opening the door to an array of meaningful benefits that make the process worthwhile.
For massively injured patients, hospitals with ACS-verified trauma programs are able to mobilize quickly and respond immediately – such as supplying blood to a patient within 90 seconds of arrival. When hospitals are prepared and equipped according to these standards, patients benefit from receiving the highest level of trauma care.
Of course, patients receiving care for a trauma-related injury aren’t in a position to choose their healthcare team due to the urgency of the situation. ACS verification status ensures that healthcare providers adhere to the highest standards for trauma care, reducing the risk of complications and leading to better outcomes for patients. In fact, several studies have shown a relationship between ACS-verified trauma centers and patient complication rates, including a 2017 study published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons that found an association between the lack of ACS verification and an increased complication rate for patients of any age who sustain major injuries.
While the ACS verification process requires a significant financial commitment, our hospital partners who acquire the designation derive the financial benefits of a well-managed trauma program, such as markedly improved performance and efficiencies that impact the entire organization.
Trauma center verification provides a structure of trauma care that produces a “halo effect” throughout the hospital organization, resulting in improved performance and efficiencies across multiple departments. Due to these wide-ranging effects, an ACS-verified trauma center can serve as a process improvement program that tends to raise the level of performance throughout a hospital.
The heart of a hospital’s mission is to serve the community. Establishing an ACS-verified trauma center provides an invaluable service to communities and patients by keeping care local, helping to reduce or eliminate the need to transfer patients to distant facilities to receive trauma care.
A verification by the American College of Surgeons brings a level of credibility and respect regarding a hospital’s resources and capabilities in providing trauma care. In an era when hospital differentiation is important, an ACS-verified trauma center can help to establish a hospital’s reputation as a well-known provider of exceptional, specialized care within the community and the region.