SLV Health’s Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Department has been re-certified as a Trauma Level III Facility at the one year mark which means they have met the state’s expectations and will retain this designation for the next 3 years.  On November 2, 2016, a team of 4 surveyors came on sight and conducted a thorough review.  The team passed the audit with zero deficiencies!

What does this mean to the community and to the patients?  It means that patients will have 24/7 emergency access to Board Certified Physicians as well as Orthopedic Providers and General Surgeons.  It also means that medical staff, including the nurses in the ICU and ER, have been specially educated to deal with trauma situations, and have passed certifications and trainings that allows them to respond with the best care possible.  And finally, it means that SLVH transfers less patients out for care, and by keeping patients close to home, it’s a win for everyone involved.

Shane Mortensen, SLVH CFO, added, “The new nurses station in the remodeled emergency department is part of an overall upgrade that we have been able to do as part of re-investing over $8 million in improved facility and equipment over the past 8 months.  This designation has been huge for the San Luis Valley.”

What does Level 3 mean?  There are 5 ratings for Emergency Departments, with 1 being the most equipped for every specialty, such as St. Anthony’s in Denver with their ability to perform invasive chest surgery resulting from a trauma.  By obtaining and retaining the Level 3 designation, SLV Health has 24/7 surgical and orthopedic capabilities and has the highest rating in the San Luis Valley.

What else comes with this designation?  It means that our staff is involved in the community with injury prevention, outreach and educational activities.  According to the Trauma Nurse Coordinator, Julie Ramstetter, “Not only are we excited about meeting the state’s requirement for this designation, we are proud of how we have improved our customer service and increased our presence in the community, such as the Lids for Kids event in July.” 

Improved Customer Service in the ED: Kiley Gibbs, Director of Emergency Services added, “We have heard so many positive patient responses since we implemented some changes to improve customer service in the emergency department.  We have a caring staff of professionals as well as great support from our Senior Team.  These changes have allowed us to meet the expectations for quality care close to home in emergent situations.  An example is one of the survey responses where a patient told us: ‘Your entire staff is great, thank you. I’ve never been treated this good in an E.R.’ This comment is just one of many that our patients have been leaving for us in our suggestion boxes.  This simple process has not only allowed us to improve processes, but has been an excellent means to thank our dedicated staff for all that they do.”

From our CEO: “The news today that we are being awarded Level III Trauma status for the next 3 years is outstanding! It is made possible by the commitment, dedication and competency of our exceptional team members. A special thank you to Julie Ramstetter, our trauma nurse coordinator, and Dr. Robert Marshall, our trauma medical director, for their leadership and guidance in reaching this goal. The reviewer today complimented our providers, our team, our leaders, and the care we provide – statements that bring pride to our organization. Our community can have confidence in our services, when a trauma occurs we will be there providing exceptional care.” -Konnie Martin

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