The Missouri Time Critical Diagnosis System for trauma, stroke, and STEMI (a specific type of heart attack) is implementing four levels of hospital designation across the state. 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.

In general, Level I Centers function as resource center within a region, for example maintaining specialized resources for the most complex patients.

Level II Centers generally provide definitive care to high volumes of trauma, stroke and STEMI patients within a region.

Level III Centers play an important role in providing access into the system and important patient care in non-metropolitan areas, and generally refer to a higher level center for definitive care.

Level IV Centers, a key entry point into the system, provide access into the system in rural areas and stabilize and prepare patients for rapid transfer to a higher level of care.