ThedaCare-Wild Rose now certified as a Level IV trauma facility
Four ThedaCare hospitals have recently been certified as Level IV trauma facilities. ThedaCare Medical Center-Berlin, ThedaCare Medical Center-New London, ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano, and ThedaCare Medical Center-Wild Rose received the designation by the state of Wisconsin.
“The Level IV trauma designation for Berlin, New London, Shawano, and Wild Rose represents the commitment ThedaCare has to improving the health of the communities we serve,” said Tammy Bending, Vice President of Critical Access Hospitals in Berlin and Wild Rose. “By offering advanced trauma care close to home, we are able to best serve our patients and their families.”
Wisconsin’s integrated system of trauma care requires the identification of hospitals as trauma care facilities by using the Level I, II, III, IV or “unclassified” structure.
Level I: Hospital is characterized by capability to provide leadership and total care for every aspect of traumatic injury from prevention through rehabilitation, including research.
Level II: Hospital provides the initial definitive trauma care regardless of the severity of injury, but differs from Level I in teaching and research capability.
Level III: Hospital provides assessment, resuscitation, stabilization, and emergency surgery and arranges transfer to a Level I or II facility for definitive surgical and intensive care as necessary.
Level IV: Facility provides stabilization and advanced trauma life support prior to patient transfer to a Level I or II.
Unclassified: Hospital has chosen not to be part of the Trauma Care System or has not been approved as a Level I, II, III or IV.
Participation in the classification system is voluntary. According to Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS), the purpose of the statewide trauma care system is to reduce death and disability after a traumatic injury, while providing the best care possible.
“When traumatic injuries happen, seconds matter,” explained Bending. “Rural hospitals with trauma experience like Berlin, New London, Shawano and Wild Rose allow teams to stabilize and care for the patient, and if necessary, transfer that person to a higher level trauma center.”
All seven ThedaCare hospitals take part in the Trauma Care System: ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Appleton: Level III; ThedaCare Medical Center-Berlin: Level IV; ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah: Level II; ThedaCare Medical Center-New London: Level IV; ThedaCare Medical Center-Shawano: Level IV; ThedaCare Medical Center-Waupaca: Level IV; ThedaCare Medical Center-Wild Rose: Level IV.
ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah is one of nine Level II trauma centers in the state of Wisconsin. Only two hospitals in the state have the Level I designation. The main difference between the Levels I and II is the capabilities for teaching and research.
A significant feature of the ThedaCare trauma program is ThedaStar. The air medical program provides helicopter transports and transfers for trauma patients and critically ill patients, including transport from our rural hospitals. This collaboration allows for our teams, across the entire region, to work in concert with each other.
“We couldn’t do what we do without all of our partners at the rural hospitals,” said Dr. Ray Georgen, the ThedaCare System Trauma Medical Director. “When there is a traumatic injury, that person receives the critical, first level care at rural hospitals. That care can lead to better outcomes if it is necessary to transport them to a higher level trauma center.”
ThedaCare is committed to achieving trauma designations at all hospitals, working as an integrated system, to serve more of our community members with expert care, close to home. In late 2018, ThedaCare implemented a new structure within the system to ensure continuity of optimal care to the injured patient. This board determines guidelines for all hospitals, where trauma directors and coordinators work together, sharing best practices and building relationships.
“Having multiple levels of trauma designation throughout the ThedaCare system allows us the opportunity to offer different types of care, depending on the situation,” said Bending. “Our team members are prepared to perform life-saving measures within their trauma setting.”