Topic List

  • Topics
    • Trauma System Introduction
    • Core Job Responsibilities
    • Hospital Verification
    • Administrative Rules and Statute

Topic Content

Trauma Program Manager Manual

Welcome to Trauma Coordination!

Hello and welcome to trauma coordination!  You are joining an amazing group of highly dedicated nurses and medics across the state of Iowa.  Trauma can impact any individual. Trauma (unintentional injury) is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and is the leading cause of death in individuals 1-44 years of age. Iowa hospitals report the treatment of approximately 20,000 trauma patients per year. Iowa’s top five causes of injury are typically: falls, motor vehicle incidents, being struck by or against objects, cuts and piercing, and incidents involving other land transport (ATV, snow mobiles, etc.). Incidents related to falls cause the most injuries. Motor vehicle associated incidents are typically the second highest cause of injury.  The top three causes of death in Iowa are associated with falls, motor vehicles, and firearms. Over 200 people died due to trauma caused by falls in 2016 and 117 died in association with motor vehicle’s collisions during the same year.

Such a wide scale issue cannot be solved by a single entity or discipline. Providing optimal care for injured patients must be managed from a systems approach. This approach needs to be inclusive of prevention and mitigation, provision of acute and definitive care, and rehabilitation. These approaches must be supported by data, evidence based practice, and research to be effective.

The Iowa Department of Public Health remains the lead agency responsible for the statewide trauma system. The Bureau of Emergency Medical Services oversaw the initial development of the trauma system. Currently, the Bureau of Emergency and Trauma Services (BETS) oversees the statewide trauma program, emergency medical services and providers, and public health and hospital emergency preparedness programs. BETS also provides support and technical assistance for those entities.

The BETS trauma program utilizes the Resources for the Optimal Care of the Injured Patient 2014 as the standard for trauma verification criteria.  The American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma are national experts in providing high quality trauma care and, as such, BETS utilizes guidance from the College to support the direction and substance of the statewide trauma program.

As a Trauma Program Manager you are a crucial part of the quality of trauma care injured patients receive in Iowa.  The program that you build will be integral to ensuring optimal care is received by injured Iowans across the state.  A critical aspect of your role is the continual analysis of trauma events at your facility, the creation of action plans, and ensuring event resolution, along with coordinating the re-verification process for your facility.

As a trauma program manager you have taken on great responsibility, but you are supported by entities across the state to help you be successful.  We look forward to working with you to ensure the optimal care of injured patients in Iowa.


Jill Wheeler, RN BSN, CCRN, SCRN, TCRN
Trauma Nurse Coordinator, Bureau of Emergency and Trauma Services, ADPER & EH
Iowa Department of Public Health
321 E. 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
(515) 201-4735
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