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Advisory Council Recommends Probation for UNC Trauma Center

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CHAPEL HILL — The trauma center atUNC Hospitalsis one step closer to losing its status as one of the state's top emergency treatment centers.

A 12-member panel of the North Carolina Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council recommended putting the hospital on probation Tuesday after a recent review found that the trauma center was deficient in documenting patient care.

The council also cited about 200 instances when the hospital's helicopter or ambulance were needed, but unavailable.

The director of the hospital's trauma center says the problems have been fixed.

"We recognize that there have been some problems with documentation; we don't think there have been any problems in patient care," says Dr. Chip Baker.

The panel's decision comes in part after a review team discovered a lack of documentation regarding physician care during admission and treatment during a December visit.

The state board should make its final decision within the next two weeks. If the hospital is put on probation, that status could last up to a year.

As a Level 1 trauma center, UNC provides a complete range of trauma care, from injury prevention to rehabilitation to research. Close to 1,600 patients came through the hospital's trauma center last year.

Duke is the only other Level 1 trauma center in this area.