'Above and beyond,' at the Med Center's Trauma Center
Having found zero deficiencies, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment has re-designated the Telluride Regional Medical Center as a Level V Trauma Center. According to a letter sent to John Gardner, the medical center’s CEO, after an on-site review last month, the department’s reviewers “noted no deficiencies and no items met with reservations at the review.”
The letter went on to indicate that "under most circumstances," reviews of Level V Trauma Centers would uncover findings and recommendations to be presented to a Designation Review Committee.
Strengths of the Telluride Regional Medical Center’s emergency services, listed by the state included, the administrative staff; the “highly invested,” Medical Director of Emergency & Trauma Services, Dr. Diana Koelliker; the “huge strength,” of Trauma Nurse Coordinator, Melissa Tuohy, who “keeps the program working like clockwork”; local partnerships with EMS, ski patrol; and community education efforts.
The culmination of attributes, according to the letter, amount to a Level V Trauma Center that is “above and beyond.”
“Our Level V Trauma Center designation saves lives,” said Gardner. “It’s what allows us to receive patients transported by ambulance and stabilize seriously injured or ill patients, when they would otherwise be transported to hospitals more than an hour away.”
The Telluride Regional Medical Center first earned its trauma designation in 2005. Reviews of trauma centers are administered by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment once every three years. Their survey includes a detailed review of policies and procedures, qualification of staff and a review of trauma patient charts to evaluate how care is provided to trauma patients.
Trauma Centers risk losing their designation if the state finds a number of deficiencies.
“The aim of our Emergency Department team is to reduce the incidence and severity of injury, and improve health outcomes for patients,” said Gardner. “It’s a personal mission for all of us here — and it shows.”