HELENA — St. Peter’s Health has earned the designation as an Area Trauma Hospital by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS).
For the designation, DPHHS EMS and Trauma Systems Section evaluated many different parts of the hospital such as: trauma program structure, availability of equipment and staff qualifications. Receiving the designation is equivalent to a level three trauma facility.
Trauma Coordinator Jennifer Lambertson, RN said the recognition really shows the commitment and dedication of the staff to help trauma patients from ambulance to recovery.
“We have totally revamped our trauma program here,” said Lambert. “That involves all the people that are actively involved such as nurses and doctors, but also administration. There’s a lot of involvement and dedication to this program growing.”
Physical trauma is defined as severe blunt, blast or penetrating injury and often require multiple health experts to help the care of the patient.
“It is absolutely imperative that everyone works together and follows established protocols when caring for a trauma victim,” said Dr. Andrew Michel, Director of Emergency Services. “Quality trauma care is a barometer of an entire hospital’s diverse functions. Earning this designation means every aspect of the care we provide—from emergency medical services, emergency department, intensive care unit, radiology, laboratory, operating room and rehabilitation—is a coordinated system unified to assure the best possible outcomes for our patients.”
In 2018, Saint Peter’s saw nearly 300 trauma patients, and the hospital says the number of trauma patients has been increasing annually.
Over the past 18 months, the organization has expanded its ambulance team, started a $10 million remodel of its operating rooms and launched two new telehealth programs – TeleStroke and TeleICU – in partnership with the University of Utah Health.
“Our trauma program really evaluates not just what happens in the E.R., but also before they get to the hospital and even during their stay,” said Lambertson. “Or if they’re transferred out and any sort of outcomes that happen even post discharge.”