Impact of Starting an Emergency Medicine Residency Program on Overall Mortality Rate in a Regional Trauma Center

Thomas McLaughlin, Osbert Blow, John Herrick, Peter Richman


Background: CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi - Memorial began an Emergency Medicine Residency Program in March 2007. During each of the three years of their residency, residents are required to complete a trauma surgery rotation. These emergency medicine residents are the only residents participating on this rotation as there is no surgical residency. The Department of Acute Care Surgery, Trauma and Surgical Critical Care analyzed the impact of the residents on trauma patient care outcomes with the hypothesis that there were no differences.

Methods: Data including length of stay in the hospital, length of stay in the intensive care unit, time spent in the emergency department (ED), morbidities and mortalities were compiled from the trauma registry for patients from the year before the residents began (March 1, 2006 to February 28, 2007) and compared with patients from the first year the residents began their trauma rotations (March 1, 2007 to February 29, 2008). T-tests and Mann-Whitney U tests were used to compare continuous variables and a Chi-square test was used to analyze the categorical variable (mortality). Linear and logistic regression analyses were also performed in order to adjust for potential confounding factors.

Results: Trauma patient admission rates were 1,316 before and 1,391 after the residents began. No statistically significant differences were found among all of the outcome variables during the two time periods except for time spent in the ED (P = 0.00), which increased during the year the residents began (236.83 4.53 minutes in 2006 compared to 297.40 5.55 minutes in 2007). Linear and logistic regression analyses confirmed these results with the exception of a statistically significant decrease in mortality with the residents on the trauma service (2.8% in 2006 and 2.1% in 2007, P = 0.00) after adjustment for multiple confounding factors.

Conclusion: The addition of emergency medicine residents to the trauma care service did increase ED length of stay, but did not increase overall hospital or intensive care unit length of stay. There was a statistically significant decrease in adjusted morbidity and mortality, thus supporting our hypothesis that the residency program did not negatively impact the trauma service and its goals of high quality patient care.

J Clin Med Res. 2016;8(2):84-89


Trauma; Emergency medicine residents; Patient outcomes

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