Trauma System Agenda for the Future


What is Trauma

What is Trauma Systems

The Vision

Executive Summary


Comprehensive Trauma Care System: Fundamental Components of Trauma Care

Comprehensive Trauma Care System: Key Infrastructure Elements





Professional Resources

Current Status

Personnel shortages are rampant throughout the health care system in the United States. This problem is particularly acute in the field of trauma care, whether it is the availability of nurses and physicians, or adequate numbers of health care providers and pre-hospital volunteers in the field, especially in rural areas.

Many factors contribute to the shortage of trauma care professionals. Funding for graduate medical education has been decreasing. There are few financial incentives for pursuing a specialty that frequently involves night shift work. Standards for EMS providers are not consistent across the country, and volunteer recruitment and retention is a constant challenge. And reimbursement problems are driving nurses to other professions and doctors into other specialties.

The Vision

  • Professional resources in the system will be patient focused, team-oriented and physician led.
  • New categories of providers and the use of physician extenders will address the need for additional resources.
  • Creative opportunities for recruitment and retention of personnel will be explored.
  • Reimbursement for all types of providers will be appropriate and sufficient so as to encourage participation in trauma care.
  • Incentives for attracting trauma specialization, including addressing the burden of liability, will be explored.
  • Ongoing professional education opportunities will be available and accessible.
  • Volunteers will supplement career resources and will be enlisted to promote injury prevention as well as deliver care.