By Starrla Cray
In the 1990s, nearly 21,000 Minnesotans died from trauma, but with its recent Level 3 Trauma Center designation, Glencoe Regional Health Services (GRHS) is doing its part to reduce future trauma casualties.
“We have more resources and training to quickly assess and treat patients who have suffered a serious injury,” Dr. Chad Robbins, GRHS general surgeon and Level 3 medical director, noted.
GRHS is one of several hospitals in the state to receive this recognition from the Minnesota State Trauma Advisory Committee (STAC).
“This is a wonderful accomplishment for us,” Robbins noted. “It means that our patients will receive the best level of care close to home.”
Starting this summer, all emergency medical service providers in Minnesota will be required to transport patients who have major traumatic injuries to the highest certified facility within 30 minutes of the scene.
According to the Minnesota Department of Health, states with a mature, comprehensive statewide trauma system have experienced a 9 percent decrease in motor vehicle crash deaths and a 15-20 percent increase in the survival rates of seriously injured patients.
In order to qualify for the Level 3 Trauma Center designation, GRHS underwent a lengthy and intense process. Part of that process included providing specific medical services.
“We really just formalized what we were already doing providing Level 3 trauma care for our region,” Raina Merkins, RN, Level 3 trauma program manager, stated.
GRHS offers emergency services, including an on-site ER physician, as well as on-call surgical, orthopedic, and anesthesia physicians and staff. The hospital also offers CT scanning and radiology services, and the ER has teleradiology capability. In addition, ER physicians and nursing staff completed advance trauma training for the certification.
“Everyone at GRHS worked very hard for this. It’s great to have the official Level 3 certification to go along with our established quality of care,” Merkins added.
For Minnesotans age 1 to 44, trauma is the leading cause of death, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Overall, trauma is the fourth leading cause of death in the state.
Glencoe Regional Health Services main campus in Glencoe features an outpatient clinic, a 25-bed inpatient hospital with surgical and emergency room services, a 110-bed nursing home and a 40-unit independent senior housing complex, Orchard Estates.
A staff of 17 physicians, two physician assistants, and other medical professionals provide care to men, women, and children of all ages at the main campus in Glencoe and satellite clinics in Stewart and Lester Prairie.