April 20, 2017 | The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) has become the only medical center in Arkansas to be certified nationally as an adult Level 1 Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons. To achieve the certification, hospitals go through a rigorous review process and must demonstrate they can provide the highest level of trauma care for the most serious and urgent cases.
The Level 1 verification extends through Dec. 16, 2019. A Level 1 medical center must have the capability of providing leadership and total care for every aspect of injury, from prevention through rehabilitation. It also has a major responsibility for providing leadership in education, research and system planning.
The American College of Surgeons’ Verification Program was created in 1987 to promote the development of trauma centers to provide the necessary care for trauma patients from the pre-hospital phase through the rehabilitation process. It remains a respected program that sets national guidelines for trauma care in the country through its publication, Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient.
“This is the highest level a trauma center can receive,” said Richard Turnage, M.D., UAMS Medical Center CEO. “It recognizes our institution’s dedication to providing the highest degree of trauma care in the state.”
The verification process includes a two-day, on-site visit and the review of the care provided to trauma patients over the prior 12 months. UAMS Medical Center also completed a pre-review questionnaire to give site surveyors a better understanding of existing trauma care capabilities including care, resources and quality improvement.
“Our goal is to be the flagship for adult trauma care in Arkansas,” said Ron Robertson, M.D., medical director of Trauma and chief of the Division of Trauma, Critical Care and Acute Care Surgery in the UAMS College of Medicine. “We are leading the way in preventable mortality and injury prevention through exemplary care, education, research and leadership.”
UAMS has a comprehensive Emergency Department prepared to treat a wide range of medical needs with immediate, around-the-clock access to orthopaedic and trauma surgeons, neurologists, cardiologists and other specialists. The trauma surgeons stay in the hospital 24 hours a day, ready to care for the most significantly injured patients.
The trauma center features a designated operating room for trauma cases, and patients needing x-rays or a CT scan can receive those in the Emergency Department with no need to transport them to the hospital for imaging.
“We’re extremely grateful to be recognized by the American College of Surgeons for the quality of care we provide,” said Terry Collins, director of UAMS trauma services. “We have a dedicated, talented team that strives every day to save lives and make a difference for our patients and their families.”
UAMS’ trauma services have grown significantly in recent years with more than 2,400 trauma activations, patients meeting criteria to need the trauma team and trauma center resources, in 2016 compared to 1,600 trauma activations in 2013. In August, UAMS will have nine trauma physicians, all with additional fellowship training in trauma and surgical critical care.