Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Trauma Care System

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EMS and Trauma Care System Assessment

The American College of Surgeons conducted an assessment of Washington's EMS & Trauma System in April 2019. To take action on the results, the department has been working with stakeholders to develop a methodology for assessing the need for Level I and Level II trauma services. More information about this work.

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Questions or comments about this work may be sent via email.

The EMS and Trauma Systems Approach

Washington's systems comprehensive approach to trauma and cardiac and stroke events provides:

  • Injury and illness prevention
  • Emergency medical services (EMS) care
  • Hospital emergency department care that includes resuscitation, stabilization and transfer when needed
  • Hospital inpatient care
  • Rehabilitation services
  • System monitoring and evaluation

A systems approach to trauma and emergency cardiac and stroke events is cost-effective. It helps to ensure appropriate and adequate care with the goal of reducing death and disability, along with the personal and societal burden resulting from these emergencies.

Although the goal of optimal care is the same statewide, these systems recognize that flexibility is essential to achieving this goal in each community. Washington has eight care regions. Every two years, all eight EMS and Trauma Care Regional Councils prepare plans to achieve overall goals within their boundaries, subject to state Department of Health review and approval.

Ultimately, the mission of any systemic approach to care comes down to this simple maxim: Get the right patient to the right resources in the right amount of time.

EMS and Trauma Care Regions

EMS Trauma Care Regions in Washington