Designation and Verification

Q: Has Good Samaritan Medical Center always been a Level II Trauma Center?

A: We were a Level III Trauma Center—that’s how we started.

Q: Who tells us whether or not we meet the requirements of being a Level II Trauma Center?

The State of Colorado designates trauma centers. There are several levels of trauma centers: there’s I, which is the highest, and V, which is the lowest, like a ski clinic. We’ve always had the plan in the back of our minds to progress to a Level II, so to start at Level III made perfect sense.

We had decided a few years ago to progress to the Level II designation from the State of Colorado. We applied and went through the survey at the end of September 2013 and were designated a Level II.

The American College of Surgeons verifies of our trauma center level. They essentially give us a good stamp on top of our already designation. When we had our designation in 2013, we had the American College of Surgeons come in and perform a consultative visit. They gave us weaknesses and strengths and we’ve been working on our weaknesses to make sure that we can get through all those and prove that we’re worthy of their stamp of approval.

Q: How does the survey affect our community?

It provides our community with a much more comprehensive service at our hospital. We were not required previously to have a trauma surgeon in-house 24/7—that is a big change from the Level III to the Level II. Also, we’re currently not required to have an anesthesiologist dedicated to trauma in-house, 24/7. However, we felt that as best practice, we wanted to have that. So, we also offer immediate anesthesia needs.

If someone comes in with a devastating, life-threatening injury, we have a trauma surgeon and an anesthesiologist and an in-house surgery crew so we can take that person directly to surgery to do what needs to be done. That is how it impacts our community; we provide service that is critical in a very timely fashion.

An in-house 24/7 anesthesiologist is only required in a Level I. We’re actually above and beyond even our Level II status. As a Level II, we can offer almost everything a Level I does except for the teaching aspect of the medical staff and the research aspect. For what we have, I think we offer a huge service to our community. We’re a highly functioning Level II.