Providence Medical Center, has earned the designation of a Level IV Trauma Center by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, making it one of just a handful of state-designated trauma centers in the Kansas City Kansas area equipped to provide trauma care for life or limb-threatening injuries.
"A Level IV designation means we can stabilize and treat patients at Providence, or stabilize and transfer them to a higher level of care if needed, depending on the type and severity of the injury," explains Carinda Trowbridge, R.N., M.S.N., Providence Trauma Program Manager.
Trowbridge adds that not only can Providence now accept trauma patients, but for many, that care will be closer than ever, saving precious time.
"If you live in Edwardsville, Leavenworth County or Bonner Springs, for example, Providence may be much closer than other facilities. And, because EMS doesn't have to travel as far to take patients to a trauma center, they can return to the community and be ready to transport the next patient who has an emergency."
Stephen Lowry, M.D., Trauma Center Medical Director and a general surgeon at Providence, says trauma center designation signifies the hospital is now part of the greater state-wide trauma system.
"As part of the state's trauma network, good communication between EMS and other designated trauma facilities ensures that patients are properly evaluated and taken to the hospital with the most appropriate resources as quickly as possible," Dr. Lowry explains. "This gives the patient the best chance for survival and recovery. Trauma protocols and practice also result in more streamlined care and better patient outcomes hospital-wide."
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment awards trauma designations based on criteria established by the American College of Surgeons.
Some of the important standards the Providence Trauma Center met included:
- All nursing staff are Trauma Nursing Certification Course (TNCC) certified.
- All emergency physicians and trauma surgeons are board certified and trained in advanced trauma life support.
- A trauma team is in the hospital 24/7 and can respond to the patient's bedside within 15 minutes of activation.
During the state's site inspection, Providence also was praised for its outstanding blood bank and emergency department staffing, important components of a trauma program.
As part of its Level IV designation, Providence also has made the commitment to provide community education focused on trauma injury prevention. This includes events such as the hospital's annual bike rodeo, seat belt checks and tai chi classes.
"We are very excited for our hospital and for the community about being designated a Level IV Trauma Center," says Kim Sudac, M.S.N., M.B.A., R.N., Director of Emergency Services. "The ultimate goal for a trauma center is to provide improved access to advanced trauma care and better patient outcomes.
"With the rapid growth in western Wyandotte County and the increasing volume of traffic, the Providence trauma designation tells the public we are well-qualified to provide the best care for our community."