Validation of a predictive model for operative trauma experience to facilitate selection of trauma sustainment military-civilian partnerships

Trauma Surg Acute Care Open. 2019 Dec 18;4(1):e000373. doi: 10.1136/tsaco-2019-000373. eCollection 2019.


Background: Trauma readiness is a Department of Defense requirement for military healthcare providers. Surgeons must maintain readiness to optimize surgical care on the battlefield and minimize preventable death. The objective of this study was to validate a predictive model for trauma operative exposure by applying the model prospectively.

Methods: The predictive model for operative trauma exposure was prospectively applied to predict the number of emergent operative cases that would be experienced over predetermined time periods at four separate trauma sustainment military-civilian partnerships (TS-MCP). Notional courses were designed to be 2 or 4 weeks long and consisting of 5 and 12 overnight call periods, respectively. A total of 51 separate 2-week courses and 49 4-week courses were evaluated using the model. The outcome measure was the number of urgent (occurring within a day of arrival) operative trauma cases.

Results: Trauma/general surgery case volumes during call periods of notional courses were within the predicted range at least 98% of the time. Orthopedic volumes were more variable with a range of 82%-98% meeting expectation depending on the course length and institution.

Conclusion: The previously defined model accurately predicted the number of urgent trauma/general surgery cases course participants would likely experience when applied prospectively to TS-MCP; however, the model was less accurate in predicting acute orthopedic trauma exposure. While it remains unknown how many cases need to be performed meet a trauma sustainment requirement, having a model with a predictive capability for case volume will facilitate metric development. This model may be useful when planning for future TS-MCP.

Level of evidence: Economic and Value Based Evaluations Level II.

Keywords: military; surgical training; trauma/critical care.