Jan 16, 2012

BRMC Earns Level 3 Trauma Care Designation

Baxter Regional Medical Center nurses and physicians recently earned the Arkansas Department of Health's designation as a Level 3 Trauma Care Team.

As such, BRMC's Cline Emergency Center became one of seven hospitals in Arkansas with emergency departments able to deliver emergency services at the Level 3 care standard and the only Level 3 emergency service in north central Arkansas. "It has been the grandest thing after 20 years in patient care to see this happen," said Charles Grinder, a registered nurse and BRMC Trauma Care coordinator with Lacey Robb.

Kelly Dicks, registered nurse and director of Cline Emergency Center, said achieving most of the state's Level 3 care standards care involves continuing education for nurses and doctors, and rooms specially equipped for emergency surgery. A number of physicians with medical specialties on the Cline Emergency Center staff and nurses with critical care knowledge and skills from the BRMC Intensive Care Unit helped the hospital to qualify, she said.

Dicks said BRMC's performance in its December review tabulated much higher than was required for the Level 3 designation

"The review looks for 80 percent fulfillment for educational requirements. Our staff is 100 percent trauma-certified," Dicks said. "Our average time from initiation to surgical team response is 15 minutes. The required response time is 30 minutes." That level of response, says Dick, in most instances translates to a surgical team waiting when injured or sick people arrive by ambulance at the emergency room.

Grinder said in cases of severe, life-threatening injury and head injury, the statewide Arkansas Trauma System that links most Arkansas hospitals electronically, has proven its ability to cut an hour or more from the time that had been given to finding the best critical care options before the system that began early in 2011.

Neurosurgery is the major medical service needed to bring BRMC to the Level 2 standard of trauma care. Dicks said BRMC is near the Level 2 care criteria. Achieving the next level would require availability of neurosurgeons to cover emergency calls 24/7. Substantial technology supporting neurosurgery is another costly aspect of achieving the Level 2 Trauma Care designation, she said.

ARKANSAS HOSPITALS AND CARE LEVELS The following is a summary of hospitals that participate in the Arkansas Trauma System and their standing in terms of care levels:

Level I

Arkansas Children's Hospital, Little Rock Le Bonheur Children's Hospital, Memphis Regional Medical Center, Memphis St. John's Regional Health Center, Springfield, Mo. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock

Level II

Baptist Health Medical Center, Little Rock Jefferson Regional Medical Center, Pine Bluff St. Joseph's Mercy Health Center, Hot Springs St. Vincent Infirmary, Little Rock

Level III

Baptist Health Medical Center, North Little Rock Baxter Regional Medical Center, Mountain Home Christus Saint Michael Health System, Texarkana Conway Regional Medical Center, Conway Saint Mary's Regional Hospital, Russellville St. John's Hospital, Berryville White County Medical Center, Searcy

Level IV

Baptist Health Medical Center, Arkadelphia Crittenden Regional Hospital, West Memphis Five Rivers Medical Center, Pocahontas Fulton County Hospital, Salem HSC Medical Center, Malvern Howard Memorial Hospital, Nashville John Ed Chambers Memorial Hospital, Danville Little River Memorial Hospital, Ashdown NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital, Jonesboro North Logan Mercy Hospital, Paris Ozark Health Medical Center, Clinton Piggott Community Hospital, Piggott Stone County Medical Center, Mountain View St. Vincent, Morrilton St. Vincent, North Little Rock -- Source: Arkansas Department of Health

Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.