Frequently Asked Questions

What is the TCD System?
How does the TCD System work?
Who developed the system?
Why does Missouri need a new emergency response system?
How do hospitals receive designation as a trauma, stroke or heart center?

What is the TCD System?
Missouri’s Time Critical Diagnosis System brings together the 911 emergency response system, emergency responders and hospitals in an integrated and coordinated approach to provide a quicker response to trauma, stroke and heart attack and improve survival and recovery from these events.

The new system builds on the Missouri’s existing trauma system, which identifies specific hospitals as trauma centers specially equipped for the treatment of serious injuries.The Time Critical Diagnosis System also now includes hospitals designated as specially equipped to treat stroke and STEMI, a specific type of heart attack.

How does the TCD System work?

Who developed the system?
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the Missouri Foundation for Health and more than 400 health care and emergency medical professionals across Missouri developed the new system.

The group has work for the past several years to create the new system and establish the necessary infrastructure and processes.

Why does Missouri need a new emergency response system?
Trauma, stroke and heart attack are leading causes of death and disability in Missouri. These conditions create a significant burden for those who experience such an event and their loved ones. Quicker definitive treatment for these medical emergencies could help save lives and reduce permanent disability.

Severe injury requires timely definitive care for the best outcomes for survival and recovery. Likewise, stroke and STEMI heart attack victims who receive treatment within specific time frames from the time symptoms begin are more likely to survive and recover more quickly and are less likely to have permanent disabilities, according to state health officials.

The goal of the new TCD emergency medical care system is to provide timely evaluation and definitive treatment to patients to improve their chances for survival and a full recovery.

How do hospitals receive designation as a trauma, stroke or heart center?
The center designation and the level is a voluntary designation for which a hospital can apply. These center designations reflect a range of hospital-based functions within the emergency medical care system and each plays a vital part in the system. Hospitals must meet certain requirements to be designated as a trauma, stroke and/or STEMI center. Those requirements include having specialized medical teams available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Each designation - trauma, stroke and heart attack - is granted separately based on a hospital’s ability to meet the requirements of each type of emergency treatment. A hospital can apply for one or more than one of the designations.