The Minnesota Department of Health recently designated Granite Falls Health as a level 4 trauma hospital. Granite Falls Health and 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. Granite Falls Health met standards of commitment, clinical and equipment resources and staff training. The hospital also participates in a continuous performance improvement process.
Tom Kooiman, CEO of Granite Falls Health states, “Our Emergency Services are second to none. Our dedicated, integrated approach to trauma care results in outstanding patient care. Granite Falls Health has excellent resources available through staffing and MD commitment. They have embraced the team approach to quality trauma care.”
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 Granite Falls Health as a level 4 trauma hospital, we are getting closer to our goal of ensuring that seriously injured Minnesotans have access to an 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 by 15 to 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 Granite Falls Health recognizes the vital role that communities, ambulance services, hospital and health care professional 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/