By Reader Staff
On Feb. 14, Bonner General Health became the fourth critical access hospital in the state of Idaho to become designated as a Level IV trauma center by the Idaho Time Sensitive Emergency Council of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.
The Time Sensitive Emergencies Council is a result of 2014 Idaho Legislation that approved and funded a plan to develop a statewide system of care that includes trauma, stroke and STEMI (heart attack) designations for hospitals. Trauma, stroke and heart attacks are the top three causes of death in Idaho. The purpose of these systems of care is to reduce the time to reach healthcare intervention for patients experiencing time sensitive emergencies. Decreasing this time from onset to treatment is important to patient health outcomes and decreased mortality rates. Bonner General Health Emergency Department collaborates with prehospital partners who can activate the specially trained trauma response team in the Emergency Department before the patient even arrives at the hospital.
“The TSE program creates a seamless transition between each level of care and integrates existing community resources to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs. It will get the patient to the right place in the right time to the right care” according to the Idaho Time Sensitive Emergencies website www.tse.idaho.gov ”
Bonner General Health’s chief executive officer, Sheryl Rickard, said, “This designation is a culmination of the extraordinary work by our team of physicians, hospital staff and our EMS providers and their shared goal of providing the best possible trauma care to our community. I am so proud of the dedication to quality patient care that our team demonstrates each and every day.”
There are special requirements that must be met to be designated as a Level IV trauma center, including strenuous quality monitoring and extensive staff training and certifications. Bonner General Health was surveyed by a three member team on Jan. 13. The survey team evaluated all aspects of trauma care including staff and physician trauma training levels, trauma equipment, facilities and supplies on hand, and toured the emergency department, laboratory, blood bank, surgical services, intensive care unit and diagnostic imaging departments. The survey team identified zero deficiencies and recommended that Bonner General Health be designated a Level IV trauma center for a period of three years.
This designation did not change the level of care provided, but it allows the community to be aware of the trauma capabilities available at Bonner General Health and improves communication among healthcare partners responding to these emergencies.