The American College of Surgeons is evaluating the hospital trauma network in Arizona, five years after it last suggested overhauling the system.
In 2007, the college visited at the request of the Arizona Department of Health Services. Then, officials looked at the trauma network and recommended the state work on adding trauma centers to hospitals in rural areas, said Will Humble, director of the state Health Department.
At the time, there were no hospitals with trauma service capability beyond Tucson and Phoenix. Now, the state has 17 trauma centers in rural communities designated as "Level 4." Trauma centers are evalulated on a scale of 1 to 4, with Level 1 being the most comprehensive.
The state invited the college back this year.
“Once we had such good coverage in the rural parts of the state we decided it was a good time to bring the American College of Surgeons back so that they could see our trauma system as it exists today," Humble said.
Having addressed the rural recommendations from the previous report, Humble said his discussions with college representatives lead him to expect the next report will focus on trauma needs in urban areas.
“I’m going to be curious to see what it is they recommend for the Tucson area, because you’ve got a really good Level 1 trauma center there, but that’s pretty much it," Humble said, referring to University Medical Center, University Campus.
The American College of Surgeons will submit a report based on its visit last week. Humble said he expects to see it in about six weeks.