How a trauma center impacts an entire hospital

University of Chicago Aeromedical Network

Dr. Doug Ross (played by George Clooney on the TV series ER) read his own scans, cared for both adults and children, and performed procedures outside of his specialty.

In reality, one physician can’t do it all in a busy urban trauma center.

“Operating a Level 1 trauma center takes a village,” said Selwyn Rogers, Jr., MD, MPH, Director, Trauma Center. “Trauma is not a place or people, it embodies everything we do, and more.”

Physician leaders across UChicago Medicine are involved in discussions and preparations as their clinical staff and trainees prepare to provide high-quality, high-touch trauma care to patients when the Level 1 adult trauma center opens next May (pending IDPH approval).

Here’s what some of our clinical leaders say about the impact of the new trauma center on their area and in the community:

“Caring for injured patients, whether from a car crash or a sports injury or any other cause, is at the heart of orthopaedic practice and is an integral part of what we have always done. We estimate the Level 1 Trauma Center will add about 900 orthopaedic surgeries annually — a roughly 20 percent increase from our current yearly surgical volume. Each of these surgical procedures will be an opportunity for our orthopaedic residents to participate in surgery, so this will be a solid boost to our educational program and will make our residents’ experience in trauma among the best in the nation.” - Douglas R. Dirschl, MD

Caring for trauma patients requires clinicians to address acute problems, to think on their feet and to operate and/or perform more proficiently. The opening of the Level 1 trauma center will raise the clinical excellence across the continuum of our institution -- in surgery, radiology, nursing, emergency care, and more. It will help us create an even more robust and efficient delivery system. The impact will be positive for our trainees and all involved in the delivery of clinical care.” - Mitchell C. Posner, MDChief, Section of General Surgery

“There is significant opportunity to understand and prevent trauma whether it’s emphasizing driving safety or violence prevention. The potential to positively impact a larger group of patients and their families is humbling. The Level 1 Trauma Center will enhance residency training with greater exposure to serious facial trauma. We will increase the efficiency of our processes, ranging from things such as time from the trauma bay to the OR to discharge planning/length of stay.” - Nishant Agrawal, MDChief, Section of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery

“Opening a Level 1 Trauma Center is an extraordinary opportunity for University of Chicago to help better the lives of patients on the South Side. As we track and study the care of trauma patients, we will improve the care of individuals affected by violence and trauma.” - David Frim, MD, PhDChief, Section of Neurosurgery

“A Level 1 trauma center will bring a higher volume of patients and more complexity in cases to the Section of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.  We have dedicated craniofacial, maxillofacial and microsurgical (for soft tissue damage) plastic surgeons on our staff, all who will contribute to the care of trauma patients. And we anticipate growth in our program to meet the needs of the individuals affected by trauma. - David W. Chang, MDChief, Section of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery