Established primary care provider improves odds of survival to discharge for injured patients

Christopher J. McLaughlin, Joseph Hess, Scott B. Armen, Steven R. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The average age and number of comorbidities is increasing among trauma patients. Primary care providers (PCPs) provide pre-injury diagnosis and management of comorbidities that may affect outcomes for injured patients. The role of primary care in trauma systems is currently unknown. Methods: Observational retrospective review of an institutional trauma databank from 2013 – 2019. PCP was extracted from the electronic medical record and combined with trauma data. Case-control matching was performed to compare outcomes between patients with and without primary care based on age, injury severity score, sex, and injury mechanism. Mann-Whitney U test, chi-square test, and multivariate regression described differences between subgroups. Primary outcome was difference in mortality rate for injured patients with and without PCPs. Results: Within the study period, 19,096 patients were included. 6,626 (34.7%) had a PCP recorded. Of these, 2,158 were matched in a case-control design. Patients with PCPs had a lower mortality rate (1.6%) compared to patients without PCPs (3.6%, P < 0.01). PCP retention was associated with longer length of stay overall, equivalent rates of complications (5.4% vs. 5.7%, P = 0.63), and similar numbers of ICU and ventilator days. Multivariate logistic regression controlling for case-control factors, insurance, and comorbidities conferred an odds ratio of 2.58 (95% Confidence Interval: 1.59 – 4.19, P < 0.001) for survival to discharge. Conclusion: Pre-injury primary care significantly improves the odds of survival to discharge for injured patients. Prospective study of this relationship may identify strategies to promote primary care within health systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-626
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Nov 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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