Dear Chief Executive Officer Letter: Trauma Centers Adopting the ACS-COT Standards and Verification Process

May 8, 2012

Dear Hospital Administrator:

You will recall that in March of this year, New York Health Commissioner Nirav Shah, M.D., M.P.H. advised you that the Department planned to adopt the American College of Surgeon's Committee on Trauma (ACS-COT) standards and verification process for the State's trauma system. Adopting the ACS-COT standards and verification process will enable trauma centers to keep pace with the current standards in trauma care, and will ensure that our trauma centers meet national standards. Once a facility is verified by the ACS-COT, routine surveillance is conducted by them in three-year cycles. The results of the verification visits will be used by the Department to determine trauma center designation.

The ACS-COT standards recognize four levels of trauma center. Level one and level two centers provide the highest level of trauma care while level three and four centers dedicate their resources to receive and stabilize severely injured patients, and then transfer those patients to level one or two centers.

I am contacting you now to determine your intent and a time line in participating in the State's trauma system utilizing the ACS-COT standards and verification process. The requirements for the four levels can be found in the ACS-COT's 2006 edition of "Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient". An updated version is set to be released this October, but we have been advised this will not contain significant changes to current standards. Whether you currently participate in the State's trauma system or not, this is an opportunity for you to reassess your facility's capabilities to meet the standards set forth in this publication. For some, this may be an opportunity to become part of the system and serve currently underserved areas in the State. If you currently participate in the State system, but your ability to meet ACS-COT standards would result in a change to your current designation, this should not preclude you from continuing to participate in the trauma system. The Department's goal is to strengthen and broaden participation, so that all of the citizens of New York can receive the most appropriate trauma care, wherever they are injured.

Please contact Linda Tripoli, Trauma Program Manager, or myself no later than June 5, 2012 to advise the Department of your decision as to whether or not you plan to pursue ACS-COT verification.

If you need additional information, please contact Linda Tripoli at (518) 402-0996, Ext. 2.


Lee Burns, Acting Director
Bureau of Emergency Medical Services
(518) 402-0996, Ext. 4