After a rigorous application process, Teton Valley Hospital has been approved as a Level IV Trauma Center by the State of Idaho Time Sensitive Emergency Council. This means that the hospital has demonstrated an ability to provide advanced trauma life support.
The State of Idaho began the Level IV designation process in 2014 with a focus on rural hospitals to help improve patient outcomes for one of the top five causes of death in Idaho: trauma. Participation is voluntary.
To earn and maintain the trauma designation, Teton Valley Hospital has bolstered its standardized system of care approach for time sensitive emergencies including trauma, stroke and heart attack. Hospital staff is also required to collect program-specified data for analysis and reporting to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and TSE Council.
This is a tremendous accomplishment for Teton Valley Hospital and they are among very few hospitals in the history of Idaho to be awarded this designation by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
– Christian Surjan, Program Manager for Idaho TSE
“Teton Valley Hospital has earned a reputation for low infection rates and a focus on quality assessments. It’s a facility-wide objective to go beyond what’s required in our delivery of care, and earning this designation fits in perfectly with that objective,” said Keith Gnagey, CEO of Teton Valley Health Care.
Angela Booker, Chief Nursing Officer, added, “All of our RNs working in the ER are certified in the Trauma Nurse Core Course and the Emergency Nurse Pediatric Course. The TSE does not require these courses, however TVHC has had the foresight to institute these trainings over the past ten years as an added resource for our nurses. All of our medical providers are approved for Advanced Trauma Life Support.”
State auditors completed a thorough inspection of Teton Valley Hospital and the E.R. two weeks ago. Approval of the application was given Wednesday, Oct. 12.
Christian Surjan, Program Manager for Idaho TSE, said, “Teton Valley Hospital has demonstrated their commitment to providing excellent trauma care for their community; this has been highlighted by their recent designation as an Idaho Time Sensitive Emergency System – Level IV Trauma Center. This is a tremendous accomplishment for Teton Valley Hospital and they are among very few hospitals in the history of Idaho to be awarded this designation by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.”
Level IV Trauma Centers are audited every three years for reapplication however, data collection and analysis continues throughout the time period of the approved designation. This continual review process is a guiding principle of the TSE system to ensure that trauma centers have instituted an evidence-based, systemic approach to time-sensitive emergencies.
For more information about this article, please contact Ann Loyola at (208) 354-6301 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
County discusses who should provide ambulance services
Scott Stuntz TVN Staff
When someone in Teton County dials 911, the ambulance that responds to that emergency could be staffed by either the Teton County Fire District or Teton Valley Health Care (the hospital). However, that could soon change. Last week the Board of County Commissioners heard a proposal from the fire district on ways to restructure how emergency services are provided.
That proposal was in response to a request made by BOCC chairman Bill Leake last July. According to the minutes of the July 13 meeting, he asked the fire district to “analyze their staffing and budget needs and provide a detailed proposal within the next few months.” Leake stressed that no major changes would take place soon and said all aspects would be reviewed carefully before a decision is made to disband the Ambulance Service District (ASD) and transfer all assets to the Fire District.
The hospital asked for $200,000 more than the Ambulance Service District had in funds for the year. Leake said he asked for the proposal from the fire district after he asked those at the table for a solution and was met with silence.
“When there’s a funding problem I have to do something to address it,” Leake said.
The fire district presented its proposal at a meeting of the Ambulance Service District on Jan. 25. Teton Valley Heath Care responded to the proposal by taking out ads in a recent edition of the Teton Valley News. One featured a letter from doctors endorsing hospital involvement in emergency services and the other was an ad rebutting the financial claims made in the fire district’s proposal.
Leake said that it is much too early to be batting around those huge overall numbers.
“Arguing about the numbers right now won’t get anyone anywhere,” he said.
He said the county first needs to sit down and lay out what services they are legally obligated to provide and what other services they can afford.
Hospital CEO Keith Gnagey said the hospital would probably be able to shoulder some of the extra costs this year, as it was forced to last year, in order to pay for ambulance service. Gnagey said the main issue is quality and that in order to ensure a high level of care, the hospital needs oversight over ambulance services. He said quality links directly to the financial sustainability of the system; how hospitals are paid for the care they provide is changing rapidly.
Under traditional payments, providers were paid for the services they provided, such as for the casts they put on or the cuts they stitched up. Gnagey said the industry is shifting to paying for “outcomes,” meaning preventative care and in-home treatment, the kind provided by ambulances, is key. He said to thrive in this new philosophy, the hospital needs to be able to manage all types of clinical care, including emergency services.
“It’s not about the money, it’s not about who [the fire district is] is, it’s about the hospital’s mission of providing the best health care we can, all the other issues are secondary,” he said. Gnagey said of course the financial picture is important, but the value the county gets for the money it’s spending is vital as well. He said the hospital doesn’t want to take over the operation of the ambulances in the county, but to maintain the current joint operation that he said is working quite well.
“Now, how can we make it better?” he said. The ambulance service district will take up the matter again at a county meeting this Monday, Feb. 8.