505.863.7000

RMCH strives for trauma hospital recognition – The Gallup Herald – February 29, 2012

RMCH strives for trauma hospital recognition

The Gallup Herald – February 29, 2012

By Joseph Kolb

GALLUP –  Rehoboth McKinley Christian Hospital is in the process of acquiring Level III Trauma Center accreditation that will greatly improve regional trauma care, said hospital officials Feb. 24.

Interim Chief Executive Officer Roger Gleisner said it would be at least a year before the process is complete but that such a program would be valuable to residents and the hospital.

“The cost to do this is not substantial and the impact on the volume of patients to the hospital can be significant,” Gleisner said.

To jump start the program, RMCH has received a $106,000 grant from the state to explore the feasibility of the program.

According to Jeff Johnson, RN, Trauma Coordinator for the hospital, there are three benefits to having Level III recognition.  Among these are increasing emphasis on trauma related education for staff which will increase their skill level; it will decrease the need to transport as many patients to Albuquerque who will be able to be treated locally; and increasing trauma prevention community education programs.

The key element to achieve this certification for the hospital is to establish operating teams that will be on-call 24-7.

Currently the state only has one Level I Trauma Center and that’s at University of New Mexico Hospital because it has a burn center, and in-house surgical and neurological teams.

A Level II Trauma Center does not have a burn center but does have the in-house surgical teams.  There are currently no Level II centers but St. Vincent’s Hospital in Santa Fe, NM, is in the process of acquiring this certification.  San Juan Regional Medical Center is a Level III trauma Center.

While RMCH is in the process of applying for Level III accreditation so too is their neighbor Gallup Indian Medical Center.

Gleisner said the GIMC plan did contribute to RMCH’s move to start a program.

“We want to preserve choice for the patient for the optimal place they want to go,” Gleisner said.