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Ann Emerg Med. 2012 Nov;60(5):632-637.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2012.02.020. Epub 2012 May 24.

Distribution of specialized care centers in the United States.

Author information

  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, USA. hwang@uabmc.edu

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVE:

As a recommended strategy for optimally managing critical illness, regionalization of care involves matching the needs of the target population with available hospital resources. The national supply and characteristics of hospitals providing specialized critical care services is currently unknown. We seek to characterize the current distribution of specialized care centers in the United States.

METHODS:

Using public data linked with the American Hospital Association directory and US Census, we identified US general acute hospitals providing specialized care for ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) (≥40 annual primary percutaneous coronary interventions reported in Medicare Hospital Compare), stroke (The Joint Commission certified stroke centers), trauma (American College of Surgeons or state-designated, adult or pediatric, level I or II), and pediatric critical care (presence of a pediatric ICU) services. We determined the characteristics and state-level distribution and density of specialized care centers (centers per state and centers per state population).

RESULTS:

Among 4,931 acute care hospitals in the United States, 1,325 (26.9%) provided one of the 4 defined specialized care services, including 574 STEMI, 763 stroke, 508 trauma, and 457 pediatric critical care centers. Approximately half of the 1,325 hospitals provided 2 or more specialized services, and one fifth provided 3 or 4 specialized services. There was variation in the number of each type of specialized care center in each state: STEMI median 7 interquartile range (IQR 2 to 14), stroke 8 (IQR 3 to 17), trauma 6 (IQR 3 to 11), pediatric specialized care 6 (IQR 3 to 11). Similarly, there was variation in the number of each type of specialized care center per population: STEMI median 1 center per 585,135 persons (IQR 418,729 to 696,143), stroke 1 center per 412,188 persons (IQR 321,604 to 572,387), trauma 1 center per 610,589 persons (IQR 406,192 to 917,588), and pediatric critical care 1 center per 665,282 persons (IQR 441,525 to 942,254). The national distribution patterns differed for each type of specialized care center.

CONCLUSION:

The distribution of specialized care centers varies across the United States. These observations highlight unanswered questions about the regional organization of specialized care in the United States.

Copyright © 2012. Published by Mosby, Inc.

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PMID:
22633341
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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