The Minnesota Department of Health recently designated the Granite Falls Municipal Hospital as a level 4 trauma hospital. The Granite Falls Municipal Hospital 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. The Granite Falls Municipal Hospital met standards of commitment, clinical and equipment resources and staff training. The hospital also participates in a continuous performance improvement process.
George Gerlach, Granite Falls Municipal Hospital and Manor CEO/Administrator states, “We are pleased to receive this designation as it recognizes the hard work of our staff and physicians to maintain their preparedness to deal with trauma when it presents itself at our organization. It also reflects our desire to meet the expectations of those we serve on all levels.”
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 Dr. Edward Ehlinger. “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 the Granite Falls Municipal Hospital 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 the Granite Falls Municipal Hospital recognizes the vital role that communities, ambulance services, hospital 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/