UnityPoint Health – Iowa Methodist Medical Center’s Trauma Center has been re-verified as a Level I Adult Trauma Center by the Verification Review Committee (VRC), an ad hoc committee of the Committee on Trauma (COT) of the American College of Surgeons (ACS). Level I is the highest designation available by the ACS. In addition, Blank Children’s Hospital has been re-verified as a Level II Pediatric Trauma Center. This achievement recognizes the Trauma Center's dedication to providing optimal care for injured patients.
Iowa Methodist Medical Center is one of only two Level I adult trauma centers in Iowa. In addition, Blank Children’s Hospital is one of only three verified trauma centers with a Level II pediatric designation in Iowa. A trauma center is a hospital that has the resources and equipment to help care for severely injured patients. A trauma center is classified as Level I, II, III or IV.
“This is an incredible testament to the high-quality emergency and trauma care being provided each day at Iowa Methodist Medical Center and Blank Children’s Hospital,” says David Stark, president and CEO at UnityPoint Health – Des Moines. “Most Level I Trauma Centers are affiliated with a university. I am proud of our organization’s commitment, medical expertise, depth of resources and leadership to achieve verification as a Level I Trauma Center.”
While most injuries can be treated at a local emergency department, receiving care at a Level I trauma center for severe or life-threatening injuries decreases a person’s risk of death by 25 percent according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It’s an honor to get this reverification because it means we have proven again that we meet the highest standards of specialized trauma care here at Iowa Methodist Medical Center,” says Dr. Carlos Pelaez, trauma surgeon with The Iowa Clinic and UnityPoint Health – Des Moines Trauma Services medical director. “When our patients need us the most, and when seconds matter, our team is ready to treat the most severe and life-threatening injuries.”
About Verification Review Committee Program
Established by the American College of Surgeons in 1987, the COT's Consultation/Verification Program for Hospitals promotes the development of trauma centers in which participants provide not only the hospital resources necessary for trauma care, but also the entire spectrum of care to address the needs of all injured patients. This spectrum encompasses the prehospital phase through the rehabilitation process.
“Verification by the ACS as a Level I Trauma Center means Iowa Methodist has proven that they provide the highest standard of comprehensive care to injured patients,” says Richard Sidwell, MD, FACS, trauma surgeon with The Iowa Clinic and ACS Committee on Trauma, State of Iowa Chair. “They pursue research in trauma to advance the cutting edge of knowledge and provide exceptional education to the medical community. Additionally, it means they are committed to local, regional and national leadership in trauma.”
Verified trauma centers must meet the essential criteria that ensure trauma care capability and institutional performance, as outlined by the American College of Surgeons' Committee on Trauma in its current Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient manual. The ACS Committee on Trauma's verification program does not designate trauma centers. Rather, the program provides confirmation that a trauma center has demonstrated its commitment to providing the highest quality trauma care for all injured patients. The actual establishment and the designation of trauma centers is the function of local, regional, or state health care systems agencies, such as the local emergency medical services (EMS) authority.
There are five separate categories of verification in the COT's program. Each category has specific criteria that must be met by a facility seeking that level of verification. Each hospital has an on-site review by a team of experienced site reviewers, who use the current Resources for the Optimal Care of the Injured Patient manual as a guideline in conducting the survey.