NAS Committee Sets Sights on Zero Preventable Deaths

NAS Report CoverToday, the National Academies of Science publicly released a report by the Committee on Military Trauma Care’s Learning Health System and its Translation to the Civilian Sector.

In the webinar release this morning, Dr. John Berwick, Chair of the committee and a senior fellow at the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, stepped through the report’s recommendations: 11 clear steps to reach the goal of Zero Preventable Deaths After Injury.

Some of the committee’s recommendations are to:

  • Compel the White House to set “Zero Preventable Deaths” as a national aim and to lead in the integration of military and civilian trauma research and care for a national trauma care system
  • Compel the leading military and public health authorities–the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of HHS–to assume responsibility for and direct the coordination of federal agencies, NGOs, private entities, academic institutions, foundations and others to achieve a nationally integrated trauma care system
  • Improve data-sharing across the continuum of care, especially pre-hospital care data, and support the dissemination of data-driven best practices
  • Mandate a National Trauma Research Action Plan that involves and coordinates all stakeholders, and adjust the regulatory environment to facilitate trauma research
  • Ensure readiness by creating a comprehensive system for training and maintaining skill sets, including the creation of a trauma care career path and embedding military trauma teams within civilian trauma centers

Committee members on the call noted that while the combat case fatality rate has fallen dramatically from 23% in Vietnam to 9% in the current conflicts, the 6,850 deaths of service members in Iraq and Afghanistan are still too many. The speakers referenced a study by Dr. Brian Eastridge that determined the rate of potentially survivable injury among all the combat deaths he surveyed was 20-30 percent. Translated to the civilian world, with 147,790 trauma deaths in the U.S. in 2014, as many as 30,000 may have been preventable.

The report outlines a vision for a national trauma care system that will eliminate preventable deaths—one that unifies civilian and military systems, sharing aims, infrastructure, system design, data, best practices and personnel. That vision includes an unspecified investment in trauma research that is commensurate with its heavy burden on society.

You may order a copy of the report HERE

[Originally posted on the National Trauma Institute website]