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DCMH trauma program earns kudos

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State reviewers were impressed with the trauma program at Delta County Memorial Hospital. Pictured are Lisa Waddington, RN, trauma nurse coordinator, and Misty Sakala, RN, manager of the trauma program, emergency department and Urgent Care.

On Sept. 20, 2017, site reviewers from the trauma division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment audited the Delta County Memorial Hospital trauma program. The reviewers toured the facility, interviewed staff and completed a thorough review of the processes used in the care of trauma patients. At the conclusion, the reviewers stated they will be recommending that DCMH continue to be verified as a Level IV trauma center in the state of Colorado.

The reviewers noted that the community is very lucky to have a place like DCMH. Additionally they stated that the trauma culture in the hospital is very evident. All DCMH staff seem very aware that trauma happens in this rural community and that the emergency department provides excellent care to trauma patients.

Strengths of the Delta Hospital trauma program as outlined by the team of trauma program reviewers included:

• DCMH is a high functioning Level IV facility, as high as the reviewers have ever seen throughout the United States. The reviewers commended the program for showing Level III and Level II functionality when required.

• Trauma nurse coordinator Lisa Waddington, RN, was congratulated for being outstanding in her position and was noted as the driving force of the program. Also noted were the trauma program co-chairs, Dr. Laura McCrackin and Dr. Michelle Gordon. Their ability to work together in successful collaboration between the emergency department and surgical department is evident through all the documentation in the performance improvement process. The hospital's administrative support is excellent.

• The DCMH facility is outstanding in all areas, from the blood bank, laboratory, radiology and emergency department, to operating and the ICU, with strong administrative support noted.

• The surgical support with the general surgeons and orthopedic surgeons is a huge strength. The reviewers don't usually see this in Level IV facilities as it is not required for this designation.

• The annual trauma conference hosted by DCMH each May is well received throughout the Western Slope and is a great educational opportunity for EMS, nurses and physicians.

• The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) paramedic and advanced life support services provided by Delta County Ambulance District and the North Fork Ambulance Association were applauded for their involvement and level of care.

• The hospital demonstrates strong involvement in regional activities, including collaboration with other Western Slope hospitals. The reviewers told Waddington that she is now the "shining light" of Level IV facilities in Colorado and to take on that responsibility to help others.

• Public education is a strength, as demonstrated in the Tai Chi and Stepping On programs. On a national level, "Stop The Bleed" initiative is very important, with DCMH taking a proactive approach to implement this program in Delta County. The impetus to do "Stop The Bleed" on the Western Slope came from DCMH.

Misty Sakala, director of trauma and emergency services, notes that Lisa Waddington has worked to keep the program moving forward and stay current or ahead of the trends. "She has reached out to work with other local trauma programs and is a stellar resource on our side of the mountain for rural trauma. We are very lucky to have her," stated Sakala.

Jody Roeber, chief clinical officer at DCMH, confirmed that Delta County Memorial Hospital has a wonderful trauma team and also highlighted the work that emergency department manager Misty Sakala, RN has done for the program. The reviewers agreed that Misty Sakala is, and has been, a huge strength to the program and again congratulated all for their involvement in the trauma culture that is so evident in Delta.

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