Increased Severe Trauma Patient Volume is Associated With Survival Benefit and Reduced Total Health Care Costs: A Retrospective Observational Study Using a Japanese Nationwide Administrative Database

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Objective:The aim of this study was to evaluate the associations of severe trauma patient volume with survival benefit and health care costs.Background:The effect of trauma patient volume on survival benefit is inconclusive, and reports on its effects on health care costs are scarce.Methods:We conducted a retrospective observational study, including trauma patients who were transferred to government-approved tertiary emergency hospitals, or hospitals with an intensive care unit that provided an equivalent quality of care, using a Japanese nationwide administrative database. We categorized hospitals according to their annual severe trauma patient volumes [1 to 50 (reference), 51 to 100, 101 to 150, 151 to 200, and ≥201]. We evaluated the associations of volume categories with in-hospital survival and total cost per admission using a mixed-effects model adjusting for patient severity and hospital characteristics.Results:A total of 116,329 patients from 559 hospitals were analyzed. Significantly increased in-hospital survival rates were observed in the second, third, fourth, and highest volume categories compared with the reference category [94.2% in the highest volume category vs 88.8% in the reference category, adjusted odds ratio (95% confidence interval, 95% CI) = 1.75 (1.49–2.07)]. Furthermore, significantly lower costs (in US dollars) were observed in the second and fourth categories [mean (standard deviation) for fourth vs reference = $17,800 ($17,378) vs $20,540 ($32,412), adjusted difference (95% CI) = –$2559 (–$3896 to –$1221)].Conclusions:Hospitals with high volumes of severe trauma patients were significantly associated with a survival benefit and lower total cost per admission.

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