Orthopedic trauma patient volume dependent on proximity to healthcare facilities: 3 study insights

Jessica Kim Cohen -   Print  |

An orthopedic trauma center's patient volume may depend on proximity to other care facilities, according to a study in the Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma.

The researchers analyzed characteristics of orthopedic patients seen at an established academic level 1 trauma center between January 2010 and October 2014. They paid particular attention to how patient volume and types of orthopedic injuries fluctuated after the initiation — and later removal — of a provisional level II trauma center at a nearby community hospital.


Here's what you need to know:


1. The academic level 1 trauma center experienced a significant decrease in patient volume while the provisional level II trauma center was in operation. Patient volume at the level 1 center decreased by 11.1 percent per month after the level II center opened.


2. After the removal of the level II center, the level I center saw a 19.4 percent increase in emergency department patient volume per month.


3. However, even after the removal of the level II center, the number of orthopedic trauma patients at the level I center did not return to its initial volume.


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