The vision of the Trauma Systems Evaluation and Planning Committee (TSEPC) is to provide leadership, influence, and direction in the development of ideal trauma systems and the health care policy that governs them to ensure optimal, equitable, and accessible trauma care to all people across the United States of America.
The mission of the TSEPC is to assess and evaluate trauma systems and provide consultative guidance for future trauma system development. Core to this mission are the principles of model trauma system development including:
- Reduction of injury incidence and severity
- Rigorous system performance improvement standards
- Assurance of appropriate resources for designated injury care facilities
- Cost containment and efficacy enhancement
Through the TSEPC of the Committee on Trauma (COT), the American College of Surgeons (ACS) assesses and evaluates trauma systems and provides consultative guidance for future trauma system development.
Using the public health approach, the TSEPC offers expertise in the areas of regionalization of care, health care system development, and disaster preparedness through system enhancement. The ACS TSEPC has been conducting trauma system consultations for nearly 20 years.
Since the definitive care for trauma is often surgery, many trauma system leaders in any jurisdiction tend to be surgeons. The engagement of the ACS in the consultative process provides a level of expertise and credibility that can engage this important audience in dialogue that extends beyond their own operating rooms or trauma centers. Having completed more than 35 statewide and regional trauma system consultations, the ACS has the benefit of promoting promising practices from visits in other states of similar geography, demography, and health care resources.
The ACS is the only entity that has a structured statewide trauma system consultation process that can, through the selection of a multidisciplinary team with focused expertise, be tailored to meet the specific needs of a state regardless of the current status of the trauma system or health care assets. Areas of expertise include the following: Injury Epidemiology, Statutory Authority and Administrative Rules, System Leadership, Coalition Building and Community Support, Lead Agency and Human Resources within the Lead Agency, Trauma System Plan, System Integration, Financing, Prevention and Outreach, Emergency Medical Services, Definitive Care Facilities, System Coordination and Patient Flow, Rehabilitation, Disaster Preparedness, Systemwide Evaluation and Quality Assurance, Trauma Management Information Systems, and Research. The ACS trauma system consultation process has been promoted by governmental agencies, such as HRSA, and is specifically noted in the Institute of Medicine’s Future of Emergency Care in the U.S. Health System series:
“In addition to trauma center verification, ACS, along with the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), state EMS directors, NHTSA, HRSA, trauma nurses, and others, has developed the nascent Trauma Systems Consultation program. The consultation is provided when requested by the lead agency…. The onsite consultation is performed by a multidisciplinary team, which evaluates all components of the system, and gives specific recommendations to help raise the system to the next level, no matter how embryonic or how mature the system may be. A number of states have sought and received a Trauma System Consultation visit. Importantly, these consultations cover the entire continuum of care”. (IOM. EMS: At the Crossroads, 2007, p. 78)
Find out where TSEPC has conducted Consultations and Facilitations.