J Korean Surg Soc.  2012 Jan;82(1):8-12. 10.4174/jkss.2012.82.1.8.

Change of inter-facility transfer pattern in a regional trauma system after designation of trauma centers

  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Medical Research Institute, Pusan National University Hospital, Busan, Korea.
  • 2Division of Trauma Surgery, Department of Surgery, Ajou University Hospital, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea. jake98@daum.net
  • 3Department of Laboratory Medicine and Biomedical Informatics Unit, Pusan National University School of Medicine, Busan, Korea.
  • 4Department of Emergency Medicine, Samsung Changwon Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Changwon, Korea.


The Ministry of Health and Welfare recently designated 35 major trauma-specified centers (MTSC). The purpose of this study is to determine changes in patient flow and designated hospitals, and to describe the role of the emergency medical information center (EMIC) in a regional trauma care system.
Data of trauma patient inter-facility transfer arrangement by one EMIC were reviewed for 2 months before and after the designation of MTSC. The data included success or failure rates of the arrangement, time used for arrangement, and inquiring and accepting facility.
At pre- and post-designation study period, there were 540 and 433 trauma patient inter-facility transfers arranged by EMIC, respectively. The median time used for arrangement decreased from 9.3 to 7.7 minutes (P = 0.007). Arrangement failure rate was 3.5% and 2.5%, respectively, with no significant interval change (P = 0.377). The percentage of inquiring MTSC decreased from 49.1 to 36.9% (P < 0.001). The percentage of accepting MTSC increased from 20.2 to 37.4% (P < 0.001).
With the designation of MTSC, EMIC could arrange inter-facility transfers more quickly. The hospitals wanted more trauma patients after the designation. There would be a concentration of trauma patients to MTSCs in our region. Further studies are needed for scientific evidence on patient outcome.


Trauma centers; Information services; Hospital emergency service; Referral and consultation

MeSH Terms

Emergency Service, Hospital
Information Centers
Information Services
Referral and Consultation
Trauma Centers


  • Fig. 1 Ratio of inquiring hospitals in pre- and post-designation period. MTSC, major trauma-specified center.

  • Fig. 2 Ratio of accepting hospitals in pre- and post-designation period. MTSC, major trauma-specified center.


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