May is National Trauma Awareness Month and Good Samaritan has reason to
celebrate with their successful trauma program. In 2013, Good Samaritan
Emergency Room nurses began their journey to establish a cooperative trauma
system. Realizing there was a need for trauma care in this region, Good
Samaritan began the process to become the first Level III trauma center
south of Indianapolis.
Good Samaritan is located in what Dr. Timothy Pohlman, Trauma Surgeon from
IU Health-Methodist, called the “Triangle of Death.” Previously,
the travel time required to reach a trauma center was greater than the
one-hour window of time for best patient outcome immediately following
an accident. Having a Level III trauma center at Good Samaritan means
that patients who are severely injured have quick access to specialized
physicians, nurses, resources and equipment.
At this time, Good Samaritan is “In the Process” of becoming
a verified trauma center by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), which
allows Good Samaritan to receive the patients necessary to show a record
of excellent trauma care required for the ACS verification process. As
a Level III trauma Center, Good Samaritan must have:
- 24-hour immediate coverage by ER physicians and the prompt availability
of general surgeons and anesthesiologists.
- A comprehensive quality assessment program.
- Transfer agreements for patients requiring more comprehensive care at a
Level I or Level II Trauma Center.
- Back-up care for rural and community hospitals.
- Continued education of the trauma team.
- Be involved with prevention efforts and have active outreach programs.
"Prior to the commitment of Good Samaritan to become a trauma
center, injured patients were likely to be sent to Evansville or Indianapolis
for care, often incurring costly emergency transportation expenses,"
said Vicki Potts, RN, MSN, CEN, Director of Acute Care. "Our surgeons
and physicians have really embraced the concept of our trauma center,
and have worked together to enhance the quality of trauma care to our
surrounding communities. We have progressed to taking care of more injured
patients right here in our hospital, keeping patients and their families
close to home.”
Out of the 763 trauma patients seen in the last 12 months, most incidents
have been the result of falls, followed by motor vehicle accidents. “Our
retention rate has been 88-90% of all trauma patients,” stated Mary
Pargin, MSN, RN, CEN, TCRN, Trauma Nurse Coordinator. “This means
that these patients have received all of their patient care at Good Samaritan,
without having to be sent to another facility. We are keeping more and
more patients all the time and are working within the state and regional
trauma system to guide care based on the needs of our community.”
Coordination with other departments within the hospital and local authorities
and EMT services throughout the region has been a huge part of the success
of Good Samaritan’s Trauma Department. “We are very fortunate
to work with other departments and local emergency personnel who understand
the importance of trauma services,” said Karen Haak, Chief Nursing
Officer. “Because we are able to work together, patients are able
to either be seen by Good Samaritan’s trauma team or sent to higher
level of care hospitals faster for treatment, which ultimately saves more
Good Samaritan will have their evaluation process performed by the American
College of Surgeons to be verified as a Level III trauma center this May.
The state or local municipality identifies unique criteria in which to
categorize trauma centers. These categories may vary from state to state
and are typically outlined through legislative or regulatory authority.
“Becoming an ACS verified trauma center demonstrates Good Samaritan’s
commitment to our community,” stated Dr. David Purdom, Board Certified
Surgeon and Trauma Medical Director at Good Samaritan. “This program
raises the bar in improving quality of care at Good Samaritan, ensuring
that our hospital departments maintain the highest possible standards
in the coordination and delivery of trauma care.”