The 2011 Annual Report of the National Trauma Data Bank® (NTDB) is an updated analysis of the largest aggregation of U.S. and Canadian trauma registry data ever assembled. In total, the NTDB now contains more than 5 million records. The 2011 Annual Report is based on 722,824 records—submitted by 697 facilities—from the single admission year of 2010. These facilities include 219 Level I trauma centers, 239 Level II trauma centers, and 192 Level III or IV trauma centers.
For the third year, the report features an expanded section on facility information. This section includes the usual information on hospital characteristics, such as bed size and trauma level, as well as registry inclusion criteria for participating hospitals. A few of the inclusion criteria that are highlighted include minimum length of stay, hip fractures, and death on arrival. This information allows the reader to consider differences in case mix across hospitals while reading the report.
The mission of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Committee on Trauma (COT) is to develop and implement meaningful programs for trauma care. In keeping with this mission, the NTDB is committed to being the principal national repository for trauma center registry data. The purpose of this report is to inform the medical community, the public, and decision makers about a wide variety of issues that characterize the current state of care for injured persons in our country. It has implications in many areas, including epidemiology, injury control, research, education, acute care, and resource allocation.
Each year the requirements for data submission quality have increased. This data quality improvement effort started in earnest with the introduction of the National Trauma Data Standard back in 2007—the thought being that it was better to have fewer records of better quality than more records of poorer quality. This perspective works to counteract the so-called garbage in–garbage out concept.
Additionally, starting with the 2008 Annual Report, records from only the most recent admission year were included, in contrast to previous reports that featured the data from the previous five years. Thus, the 2008 report contained only records of patients that were admitted in 2007, and so on. There was significant concern surrounding the accrual of records when the more stringent data quality requirements were put into effect. That concern is unfounded based upon the continual rise in record submissions each year. There has been more than an eightfold increase over the past eight years in record submissions for the most recent admission year data.
Many dedicated members of the COT, as well as at trauma centers around the country, have contributed to the early development of the NTDB and its rapid growth in recent years. Building on these achievements, the goals in the coming years include improving data quality, updating analytic methods, and enabling more useful inter-hospital comparisons. These efforts will be reflected in future NTDB reports, which are submitted to participating hospitals, as well as in the Annual Reports.
Throughout the year, we will be highlighting these data through brief reports that will be published monthly in the Bulletin. The NTDB Annual Report 2011 is available on the ACS website as a PDF file and a PowerPoint presentation at http://www.ntdb.org. In addition, information is available on our website about how to obtain NTDB data for more detailed study. If you are interested in submitting your trauma center’s data contact Melanie L. Neal, Manager, NTDB, at firstname.lastname@example.org.