January 11, 2024
Kootenai Health has been verified as a Level II trauma center by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma (ACS COT). This accomplishment makes Kootenai the only level II ACS verified hospital in the region.
Verified trauma centers must meet the rigorous standards that ensure trauma care capability and the highest level of institutional performance, as outlined by the ACS COT.
“Becoming an ACS-verified Level II trauma center has been the culmination of countless hours of work by an enormous number of people,” said the Kootenai Health Trauma Medical Director, Cory Richardson, M.D.
The ACS Trauma Verification, Review, and Consultation (VRC) Program helps hospitals to evaluate and improve their trauma care. It provides an objective, external review of a trauma center’s resources and performance. A team of trauma experts completes a site review of the hospital. The team assesses relevant components of the program including their regional roles, the availability of resources, policies, patient care protocols, and the hospital’s quality improvement processes. Of note, patients cared for in ACS-verified trauma centers have a lower risk of death and improved quality of life compared with patients in non-verified centers.
Kootenai Health has been working toward this designation since 2021, and has elevated the level of care in its Emergency Department and across the hospital.
“It has created higher expectations for all nurses and holds everyone to the highest standards,” said Dershi Bussey, director of emergency and Time Sensitive Emergencies. It has elevated care for all patients. We are also sharing what we’ve learned and training opportunities with other northern Idaho hospitals.”
Having achieved this designation speaks to the outstanding care patients can expect when coming to Kootenai Health.
“Our team has the resources and training to provide the most up-to-date, nationally recognized best practices for care,” said Amanda Pringle, RN, manager of Kootenai Health’s trauma program. “With numerous people responding, we all must work together seamlessly as a team. We pride ourselves in ensuring the best care is given to every patient.”
As an ACS-verified trauma center, Kootenai Health also becomes an ACS Surgical Quality Partner. Being a Surgical Quality Partner signifies a hospital’s dedication to consistently improving procedures and approaches, while maintaining a critical eye on process at every step. The Surgical Quality Partner designation lets patients know Kootenai Health is dedicated to quality and relentless self-improvement, and has been verified or accredited by the ACS. Patients can trust that the care they receive at Surgical Quality Partner hospitals adheres to the highest standards in surgical quality.
“ACS Quality programs are grounded in more than a century of experience and participation is an important measure of a hospital’s surgical quality. As an ACS Surgical Quality Partner, Kootenai Health has shown a commitment providing the best possible patient care, evaluating that care in a rigorous fashion, and dedicating themselves to continuous self-improvement,” said ACS Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Patricia L. Turner, MD, MBA, FACS.