American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

VRC Program FAQs

What is the American College of Surgeons (ACS)?

The ACS is a scientific and educational association of surgeons that began in 1913. The ACS works to improve the quality of care for the surgical patient. It does so by setting high standards for surgical education and practice.

What is the ACS Committee on Trauma (COT)?

The ACS COT strives to improve all phases of care of injured patients. These phases include emergency care at the scene and during transport of the injured, care in the emergency room and hospital, and rehabilitation. The ACS COT also works to improve teaching and the practice of trauma surgery as well as injury prevention. By working with other national groups with similar goals, the COT strives to continually improve trauma care. Its main efforts are in education, standards of care, and quality of patient care.

What is the COT Verification Committee?

This committee is responsible for verifying that a trauma center has the necessary resources for delivering optimal trauma care. As a guide, it uses the Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient.

What is Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient?

This book outlines the resources needed for optimal trauma care. Experts use it as a guide to develop trauma centers in the United States. ACS site surveyors use this book to review trauma centers.

What is “trauma center designation”?

A facility earns the title of “designated trauma center” when it meets the requirements of government or other authorized entities. The ACS does not designate trauma centers. Instead, it verifies the presence of the resources listed in the book, Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient.

What is ACS verification?

The ACS Verification, Review, and Consultation Program (VRC) helps hospitals to evaluate and improve trauma care. It provides an objective, external review of a trauma center’s resources and performance. A team of trauma experts completes an on-site review of the hospital. The team assesses relevant features of the program. These include commitment, readiness, resources, policies, patient care, and performance improvement.

How can I find the list of ACS verified centers?

A list of verified centers is available Trauma Centers. The ACS lists only those centers that have successfully completed the ACS verification process.

Why are trauma centers in my state not on your list?

Some states have their own evaluation process. In such instances, ACS verification is not required.

Where can I find a list of other trauma centers?

The American Trauma Society (ATS) keeps track of all U.S. trauma centers. You can find a trauma center near you at the ATS website by searching by zip code. The ATS is dedicated to improving trauma care and preventing trauma.

Is ACS COT the only group that evaluates trauma centers?

Other entities besides ACS also assess trauma centers. These include state governments; local emergency medical services (EMS), which are first responders to an injury; and various foundations.