3727.09 Trauma care protocols - trauma patient transfer agreements.

(A) As used in this section and sections 3727.10 and 3727.101 of the Revised Code:

(1) "Trauma," "trauma care," "trauma center," "trauma patient," "pediatric," and "adult" have the same meanings as in section 4765.01 of the Revised Code.

(2) "Stabilize" and "transfer" have the same meanings as in section 1753.28 of the Revised Code.

(B) On and after November 3, 2002, each hospital in this state that is not a trauma center shall adopt protocols for adult and pediatric trauma care provided in or by that hospital; each hospital in this state that is an adult trauma center and not a level I or level II pediatric trauma center shall adopt protocols for pediatric trauma care provided in or by that hospital; each hospital in this state that is a pediatric trauma center and not a level I and II adult trauma center shall adopt protocols for adult trauma care provided in or by that hospital. In developing its trauma care protocols, each hospital shall consider the guidelines for trauma care established by the American college of surgeons, the American college of emergency physicians, and the American academy of pediatrics. Trauma care protocols shall be written, comply with applicable federal and state laws, and include policies and procedures with respect to all of the following:

(1) Evaluation of trauma patients, including criteria for prompt identification of trauma patients who require a level of adult or pediatric trauma care that exceeds the hospital's capabilities;

(2) Emergency treatment and stabilization of trauma patients prior to transfer to an appropriate adult or pediatric trauma center;

(3) Timely transfer of trauma patients to appropriate adult or pediatric trauma centers based on a patient's medical needs. Trauma patient transfer protocols shall specify all of the following:

(a) Confirmation of the ability of the receiving trauma center to provide prompt adult or pediatric trauma care appropriate to a patient's medical needs;

(b) Procedures for selecting an appropriate alternative adult or pediatric trauma center to receive a patient when it is not feasible or safe to transport the patient to a particular trauma center;

(c) Advance notification and appropriate medical consultation with the trauma center to which a trauma patient is being, or will be, transferred;

(d) Procedures for selecting an appropriate method of transportation and the hospital responsible for arranging or providing the transportation;

(e) Confirmation of the ability of the persons and vehicle that will transport a trauma patient to provide appropriate adult or pediatric trauma care;

(f) Assured communication with, and appropriate medical direction of, the persons transporting a trauma patient to a trauma center;

(g) Identification and timely transfer of appropriate medical records of the trauma patient being transferred;

(h) The hospital responsible for care of a patient in transit;

(i) The responsibilities of the physician attending a patient and, if different, the physician who authorizes a transfer of the patient;

(j) Procedures for determining, in consultation with an appropriate adult or pediatric trauma center and the persons who will transport a trauma patient, when transportation of the patient to a trauma center may be delayed for either of the following reasons:

(i) Immediate transfer of the patient is unsafe due to adverse weather or ground conditions.

(ii) No trauma center is able to provide appropriate adult or pediatric trauma care to the patient without undue delay.

(4) Peer review and quality assurance procedures for adult and pediatric trauma care provided in or by the hospital.

(C)

(1) On and after November 3, 2002, each hospital shall enter into all of the following written agreements unless otherwise provided in division (C)(2) of this section:

(a) An agreement with one or more adult trauma centers in each level of categorization as a trauma center higher than the hospital that governs the transfer of adult trauma patients from the hospital to those trauma centers;

(b) An agreement with one or more pediatric trauma centers in each level of categorization as a trauma center higher than the hospital that governs the transfer of pediatric trauma patients from the hospital to those trauma centers.

(2) A level I or level II adult trauma center is not required to enter into an adult trauma patient transfer agreement with another hospital. A level I or level II pediatric trauma center is not required to enter into a pediatric trauma patient transfer agreement with another hospital. A hospital is not required to enter into an adult trauma patient transfer agreement with a level III or level IV adult trauma center, or enter into a pediatric trauma patient transfer agreement with a level III or level IV pediatric trauma center, if no trauma center of that type is reasonably available to receive trauma patients transferred from the hospital.

(3) A trauma patient transfer agreement entered into by a hospital under division (C)(1) of this section shall comply with applicable federal and state laws and contain provisions conforming to the requirements for trauma care protocols set forth in division (B) of this section.

(D) A hospital shall make trauma care protocols it adopts under division (B) of this section and trauma patient transfer agreements it adopts under division (C) of this section available for public inspection during normal working hours. A hospital shall furnish a copy of such documents upon request and may charge a reasonable and necessary fee for doing so, provided that upon request it shall furnish a copy of such documents to the director of health free of charge.

(E) A hospital that ceases to operate as an adult or pediatric trauma center under provisional status is not in violation of divisions (B) and (C) of this section during the time it develops different trauma care protocols and enters into different patient transfer agreements pursuant to division (D)(2)(c) of section 3727.101 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 09-17-2002