The Minnesota Department of Health recently designated Stevens Community Medical Center as a Level 4 Trauma hospital. Stevens Community Medical Center and the staff voluntarily participated in the intense designation process to become part of Minnesota’s statewide trauma system. The process included an outside review of the hospital’s resources and capabilities to care for trauma patients. Stevens Community Medical Center met standards of commitment, clinical and equipment resource and staff training. The hospital also participates in continuous performance improvement process. This designation is another way that Stevens Community Medical Center can provide quality care to our community.
For a severely injured person, the time between sustaining an injury and receiving definitive care is the most important predictor of survival – the “golden hour.” The chance of survival diminishes with time; however, a trauma system enhances the chance of survival regardless of proximity to an urban trauma hospital.
“Trauma is the third leading cause of death in Minnesota,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm.“ The goal of the trauma system is to decrease injured patients’ time to care by making sure their medical needs are appropriately matched with hospital resources. With the designation of Stevens Community Medical Center as level 4 trauma hospital, we are getting closer to our goal of ensuring that seriously injured Minnesotans have access to a organized system of trauma care wherever they are in the state.”
On average, trauma claims the lives of 2,400 Minnesotans annually. States with trauma systems have seen survival rates increase 15-20 percent. Wide-scale participation in the voluntary trauma system ensures that a statewide, cooperative effort is in place to care for seriously injured patients.
Minnesota began developing a comprehensive statewide trauma system in August of 2005. Through its designation Stevens Community Medical Center recognizes the vital role that communities, ambulance services, hospitals and health care professionals play in the care and management of trauma patients.
For more information, see the Minnesota Statewide Trauma System site at http://www.health.state.mn.us/traumasystem/