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What is the NTDB National Trauma Data Standard?

The new National Trauma Data Standard is an effort to standardize the data in
Magnifying Glass Analyzing Datathe National Trauma Data Bank.

The National Trauma Data Bank contains injury information from patients presenting to local hospitals (both trauma-designated and non-designated hospitals) from across the nation.  Currently, the NTDB is not standardized— meaning that data elements collected from different facilities may differ in meaning, making data less comparable.

This effort will standardize trauma registry data collection in a way never before imagined, improving patient care, trauma training and defining a standard on which to measure care.  Hospitals across the United States will be able to share the key elements of their data collection nationally.

Hospital Entrance

The National Trauma Data Standard is a standardized dataset

For all practical purposes, the Data Standard (formerly known as the National Trauma Registry or NTR) is a dataset defining standardized data elements collected by the American College of Surgeons within the National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB). This standardized dataset includes only core variables that would prove useful if aggregated on a national level. 

Each individual hospital trauma registry will likely collect additional variables important to patient care. However, the NTDB Data Standard should be collected by all hospitals and submitted to the NTDB. The NTDB is the national repository that will be used to store trauma data from potentially every state in the nation.

Since the 1950s, the need for trauma registries and databases has been well established, and many statewide trauma registry systems have been created. However, local hospital-based trauma registries vary in their ability to collect patient and systems data and allow analysis at local, state, and national levels.

For this reason, this specific dataset was developed to help hospitals and states collect more comparable data elements and to help them in submitting their data to the National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB).

The National Trauma Data Bank®

Piece of a Puzzle with NTDB on it.Think of the NTDB as a bank...that conducts deposits and withdrawals. Data are deposited in the NTDB and reports are generated from the data and provided to researchers. The new data dictionary is simply that, a new data standard, defining the structure and format of the data deposited within the NTDB. It represents variables characterizing trauma events that are important to aggregate at the national level.

You can visit the NTDB at www.ntdb.org.


Implementation Timeline

Sand dropping thru a bottle indicating time is passing.The NTDB National Trauma Data Standard will be fully implemented in 2009.  In 2007, trauma facilities and state trauma systems are encouraged to work with their trauma registry software vendors to begin the transition to the new dataset.




Why Create a Standardized Dataset?

The NTDB Data Standard will be useful in:

  • Developing Nationwide Trauma Benchmarks
  • Evaluating EMS, Hospital and Trauma Systems Patient Outcomes
  • Facilitating Research Efforts
  • Determining National Trends in Trauma Care
  • Addressing Resources for Disaster and Domestic Preparedness
  • Providing Valuable Information on Other Issues or Areas of Need Related to Trauma Care