HRMC Re-Designated as a Level IV Community Trauma Hospital
December 04, 2020
Huron Regional Medical Center has been re-designated as a Community Trauma Hospital (CTH) by the South Dakota Department of Health, according to Jackie Kleinsasser, RN, BSN, trauma coordinator at HRMC.
HRMC first received the designation in 2011 and applies for re-designation based on their capabilities and services offered every three years. Designated Community Trauma Hospitals are required to provide:
- Surgical coverage of emergency department for all trauma team activations 80% of calendar year, minimum
- Trauma transfer guidelines in place when surgery not available
- 24/7 physician coverage of emergency department
The designation is part of a program legislated in 2008 directing the Department of Health (DOH) to develop a statewide trauma system to ensure that injured people are promptly transported to and treated at facilities appropriate to the severity of their injury. Other hospitals in the area with the CTH designation are Sanford Aberdeen Hospital. Avera St. Mary's Hospital – Pierre and Prairie Lakes Hospital – Watertown. The ultimate goal is to reduce deaths and severe injuries through coordinated prevention, pre-hospital and hospital care services.
DOH representatives performed a site visit which included presentations of HRMC’s capability, facility tour and medical record and policy review. HRMC was notified in October that the hospital’s application had been approved.
“Since our initial designation, we have had a team and plan in place to make sure we stand ready to respond to traumas each and every day,” said Kleinsasser. “The team is led by a group of individuals who are key players in delivering trauma services to our patients.”
These individuals include Kleinsasser, who also serves as trauma registrar, Stephanie Metzger, RN, emergency room director, Dr. Cy Haatvedt, trauma, ER and ambulance medical director, Dennise Brock, RN, education coordinator and Cheri Fast, RN, BSN, quality and risk director, surgeons Dr. Cy Haatvedt and Dr. Anthony Loewen, representatives from Huron Ambulance, as well as HRMC directors of respiratory therapy, lab, radiology, surgery and inpatient services.
“Last year, we had 27 trauma codes and have had 20 codes to-date in 2020,” explained Kleinsasser. “We do a 100 percent review of all our trauma codes to learn from our experiences. We also actively participate in the South Dakota State Quarterly Regional Trauma Review and State Trauma meetings.”
When a trauma is called at the hospital or in the field by law enforcement or emergency responders, a designated trauma team responds immediately to the emergency room. The team includes physicians, emergency room PAs/CNPs, nursing staff, anesthesia, lab, x-ray, and respiratory therapy professionals – all of the medical professionals that could be needed to treat a traumatic injury, illness or accident. The on-call surgeon responds and directs the code.
“I think we have a remarkable group of medical professionals who make this designation possible. We are always prepared to take care of emergencies and being part of the trauma designation system allows for better patient outcomes – which is the reason we are here,” said Metzger. “This level four trauma designation is a vital asset to our community, allowing HRMC to be part of a systematic approach to care for or quickly transfer patients to the proper trauma designation facility based on the patient’s needs.”
HRMC is also actively engaged in educating the community on the importance of safety and trauma prevention through presentations, newsletters, social media and other promotional activities.
If your organization would like information on how to prevent and prepare for responding to accidents and injuries, HRMC can provide a representative to speak free of charge. Contact HRMC’s speaker bureau at 605-353-6572. More information about the South Dakota’s trauma system is available online at https://doh.sd.gov/providers/ruralhealth/trauma/designations.
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