Trauma Center Designation
The District of Columbia is fortunate to have several major medical centers and healthcare facilities with world-class faculty and healthcare providers. Only the Director of DC Health has the authority to designate Trauma Centers in the District of Columbia according to District of Columbia Municipal Regulation (DCMR) Chapter 29-559
The designation of both Trauma and Specialty Centers must be consistent with the National Guidelines or National Standards as mandated in the Emergency Medical Services Act of 2008. There are three criteria that must be met before the Director designates a Trauma Level in a healthcare facility:
Verification by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma that the facility meets the requirements for one of the four levels of service consistent with the criteria and resource capacity for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma.
Participation in the District of Columbia Trauma Plan which coordinated all of the healthcare resources within the District and helps to protect and provide for the citizens and visitors.
Designated Trauma Centers must share the medical data collected by the Trauma service for Continuous Quality Improvement. Each of the Level 1 Trauma Centers in the District of Columbia must submit this data to the DC Health’s Trauma Registry for analysis, to aid in the development of health policy and the DC Trauma Plan
Currently, there are four Level 1 Trauma Centers designated in the District:
- MedStar Washington Hospital Center
- George Washington University Hospital
- Howard University Hospital
- Children National Hospital
Each Level I Trauma Center must admit at least 1,200 trauma patients yearly or have 240 admissions with an Injury Severity Score of more than 15. This is the minimum volume that is believed to be adequate to support the education and research requirements of a Level I Trauma Center.