State-Level Certification Validates Exceptional Emergency Care
Patients enter the Gritman Emergency Department knowing they can receive an exceptional level of care.
Such high standards have also been validated by the state of Idaho Time Sensitive Emergency System (TSE), which has granted Gritman Level IV Trauma Certification for the care provided by our Emergency Department.
“The Level IV designation gives us not only some confidence and credit for what we’ve already been doing in providing exceptional care to the community, but it also helps us to have a systematic way of improving the care we provide,” said Ben Stellmon, Clinical Coordinator in the Gritman Emergency Department and the hospital’s Trauma Program Manager.
Stellmon and Emergency Department Director Nicole Wheaton say the standard provides outside validation that emergency room physicians and staff are providing the highest quality of trauma care that they can. A standard set of protocols and data research will ensure the hospital maintains that high bar.
Patients seen in the Emergency Department for a traumatic event like a heart attack, stroke or car accident go through a set of standardized procedures. The Level IV Trauma designation further spells out those protocols, helping determine when a patient is treated at Gritman throughout their entire stay, or whether they are stabilized and transferred to a larger hospital with a higher trauma designation or more specialized services.
“Patients should be confident in coming to our hospital for any level of care, especially trauma care, because we give consistent teaching and training to all of our staff,” Wheaton said. “Everyone’s required to have the same education and we routinely are testing their competency and doing trauma review and making sure we provide the best care possible.”
Gritman is already providing that level of care, and the three-year designation provides consistent policies. That continuum starts with EMS providers throughout the region and air ambulance services like Life Flight that collectively serve more than 100,000 people in the region. Everything these providers do allows for a seamless transition for patients beginning in the moment a call comes into 911.
“It’s kind of a commitment to the community that we want to make sure that we’re providing the best care at all times,” Wheaton said of the designation. “We want to make sure all the standards are being met, from nurse to nurse, day and night.”
For Gritman General Surgeon Dr. Bryan Anderson, the designation is an important element in ensuring a patient is helped with the highest level of treatment available. Dr. Anderson for many years performed procedures at Idaho’s largest Level II Trauma center, St. Alphonsus in Boise, where he said the importance of emergency care from Level III and Level IV centers was instrumental in the quick recovery of patients transferred to a larger facility.
“And I think that’s what we can offer here at Gritman is that increased level of care in a Level IV center that will make it so patients do better and recover to the best of their ability,” he said.
Emergency Department Dr. Nicholas Garrett agrees.
“As a member of this community, one of the things that is near and dear to my heart is making sure we have good quality emergency services both for myself and my children, but also for my extended family that live in the community,” Dr. Garrett said. “Part of that is the trauma program here at Gritman Medical Center.”