Just over a year ago, the McPherson Hospital Emergency Department (ED) was designated a Level IV Trauma Center by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Level IV Trauma Centers are rural hospitals whose primary role is to stabilize seriously injured patients and, if necessary, transfer them to a higher level trauma center. McPherson Hospital had to meet essential criteria that ensure trauma care capability and institutional performance as outlined by the American College of Surgeons and endorsed by the Kansas Advisory Committee on Trauma.
McPherson Hospital’s trauma team makes a determination as soon as possible whether a case should be transferred so that appropriate care can be given prior to the transfer. McPherson Hospital General Surgeon and Trauma Medical Director Dr. Clayton Fetsch said, “The trauma center designation means we have the resources to stabilize these patients and send them on for more advanced care, or to meet the patient’s needs here at home, depending on their injuries.”
Following trauma cases, the staff in the ED examines their processes, allowing them to make improvements where needed. McPherson Hospital’s trauma program manager Joni Pruitt said, “We see a large number of trauma cases come through our doors every year. Our medical director for the ED, Dr. Jody Bieker, leads a review of each of these cases monthly. This allows us to work together as a team to make sure that we are providing quality care to these patients who, in many cases, will be transferred to a Level I or II trauma center.”
Pruitt said the hospital has transfer agreements with the state’s Level I trauma centers which are Via Christi Hospital St. Francis and Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, and the Level II trauma center at Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka.
The current designation is valid until September of 2019 when the state will come back in to review the cases and make recommendations should changes be needed.
“Our emergency teams, consisting of our board-certified physicians, nursing staff, paramedics, EMTs, and surgeons are highly trained to provide a wide range of emergency treatments around the clock, every day of the year,” Pruitt stated. “We are proud of this state designation, and are all focused on providing a high level of care, including stabilizing and transporting victims of trauma.”