Rural Trauma Team Development Course decreases transfer times

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Rural Trauma Team Development Course (RTTDC) was designed to teach rural trauma teams with limited resources how to initially assess and stabilize trauma patients in anticipation of transfer.

A recent study conducted at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, demonstrated the positive correlation between RTTDC education and decreased transfer time to definitive care. The researchers conducted a pre- and post-analysis of trauma patients who were transferred from rural hospitals with trauma centers in 2012−2014. Patients from six rural hospitals that participated in RTTDC were compared with a similar control group of hospitals that did not participate in RTTDC. A total of 253 patients with similar demographics, computed tomography imaging, and mortality rates participated in the study.

The RTTDC group experienced an overall 61-minute reduction in referring hospital length of stay and a 41-minute reduction in time to call for transfer when compared with the control group. The study proves the important role that RTTDC plays in the care of rural trauma patients and may allow for trauma centers to recapture the golden hour for transferred trauma patients.

A paper based on this study won special recognition during the 2016 Society of Trauma Nurses Conference in Anaheim, CA. The full article is available at 

If you are interested in bringing RTTDC to your local rural facility, contact our program office at [email protected] or 312-202-5389. We also encourage you to visit the Trauma Programs exhibit in ACS Central in the Exhibit Hall to learn more about the RTTDC course, and for a listing of upcoming course dates and locations.