Do you know the levels of trauma care facilities are in your area? Check out this map of classified or verified  hospitals in Wisconsin.

All hospitals that wish to participate in the Wisconsin trauma care system are classified as a level I, II, III or IV trauma care facility.

  • Level I: Hospital characterized by capability to provide leadership and total care for every aspect of traumatic injury from prevention through rehabilitation, including research. 
  • Level II: Hospital provides the initial definitive trauma care regardless of the severity of injury, but differs from Level I in teaching and research capability. 
  • Level III: Hospital provides assessment, resuscitation, stabilization, and emergency surgery and arranges transfer to a level I or II facility for definitive surgical and intensive care as necessary. 
  • Level IV: Facility provides stabilization and advanced trauma life support prior to patient transfer to a Level I or II. 
  • Unclassified: Hospital that has chosen not to be part of the Trauma Care System or has not been approved as a Level I, II, III or IV. 

Level I & II facilities must go through the American College of Surgeons verification process. Level III & IV facilities self-classify according to Essential/Desirable Criteria developed by the State. The State visits hospitals every three years to review the classification. Prior to the visit the hospital will be asked to complete a pre-review questionaire (PRQ).

Wisconsin is currently in the process of updating the classification review criteria based on the most recent Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient 2014 (6th edition) from the ACS. The more current information about the update can be found HERE. We have been advised by DHS that this version of the rule will be going into effect July 1, 2021.

Hospital Classification

Wisconsin uses a hybrid system to classify hospitals as trauma care facilities. Hospitals wishing to be considered Level I or II facilities must complete the American College of Surgeons process for verification. Wisconsin has essential and desired criteria for self-designation as a Level III or IV facility. Once a hospital has self-designated as a Level III or IV, the Department of Health Services will conduct a classification visit to confirm adherence to the criteria. Hospitals renew their classification every three years.