Optimizing trauma system design: the GEOS (Geospatial Evaluation of Systems of Trauma Care) approach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Jan O. Jansen
  • Jonathan J. Morrison
  • Handing Wang
  • Robin Lawrenson
  • Gerry Egan
  • Marion K. Campbell

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Health Services Research Unit
  • Academic Unit of Surgery, Glasgow Royal Infirmary
  • Key Lab of Intelligent Perception and Image Understanding of Ministry of Education, International Research Center of Intelligent Perception and Computation, Xidian University
  • Xidian University
  • Scottish Ambulance Service


BACKGROUND: Trauma systems have been shown to reduce death and disability from injury but must be appropriately configured. A systematic approach to trauma system design can help maximize geospatial effectiveness and reassure stakeholders that the best configuration has been chosen.

METHODS: This article describes the GEOS [Geospatial Evaluation of Systems of Trauma Care] methodology, a mathematical modeling of a population-based data set, which aims to derive geospatially optimized trauma system configurations for a geographically defined setting. GEOS considers a region’s spatial injury profile and the available resources and uses a combination of travel time analysis and multiobjective optimization. The methodology is described in general and with regard to its application to our case study of Scotland.

RESULTS: The primary outcome will be trauma system configuration.
CONCLUSION: GEOS will contribute to the design of a trauma system for Scotland. The methodology is flexible and inherently transferable to other settings and could also be used to provide assurance that the configuration of existing trauma systems is fit for purpose.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1035-1040
JournalThe Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014


  • Wounds and injuries, health services research, trauma systems, performance improvement, geospatial analysis, public health