Hospital designation upgraded


Staff Writer

On April 4, Pagosa Springs Medical Center was promoted to a Level IV Trauma Center designation by the State of Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment.

According to an email from Haz Said, PSMC marketing and communications, “A Level IV Trauma Center has demonstrated an ability to provide advanced trauma life support (ATLS) prior to transfer of patients to a higher level trauma center. It provides evaluation, stabilization, and diagnostic capabilities for injured patients.”

The designation also recognizes that PSMC has “emergency department facilities to implement ATLS protocols and 24-hour laboratory coverage.”

Level IV centers must have trauma personnel available upon patient arrival, have a comprehensive quality assessment program, may provide surgery and critical-care services if available and are involved with prevention efforts and active community outreach.

The on-site review examining PSMC qualifications for an advanced trauma classification was conducted by the state April 2. Two days later, the official designation was awarded.

According to a letter sent to PSMC CEO Brad Cochennet by D. Randy Kuykendall, division director of health facilities and EMS division for the state health department, PSMC received their designation almost a week earlier than others centers might under normal circumstances.

The reason Kuykendall cites for the almost immediate designation change was that PSMC had “no deficiencies or items met with reservation” during the review.

“Since your facility has fully met all criteria, Pagosa Springs Medical Center receives an automatic recommendation,” the letter stated.

Some of PSMC’s strengths listed in Kuykendall’s letter include:

“• Administrative Support ...

“• Great physical plant

“• Radiology capabilities

“• EMS well integrated into care of patient and high level qualifications

“• EMS Director is energetic and very qualified ...

“• Recognition of limitations and commitment to mature and grow.”

The review committee also took the opportunity to make recommendations for future improvements the center can make.

Some of the things suggested by the committee in Kuykendall’s letter included the need for having “available blood products to reverse anticoagulation ... vascular equipment available in the OR.”

The Level IV Trauma Center designation lasts for 18 months.