WMMC now provides care to trauma, stroke patients

Written by Muleskinner Staff

By ALLYSON COOK
Reporter

(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) — Western Missouri Medical Center is now a Level III trauma center.

The designation means WMMC now meets the standards to provide care to both trauma and stroke patients. Before earning Level III status, trauma and stroke patients in the area were primarily sent to St. Luke’s East, St. Luke’s Kansas City or Research Medical Center in Kansas City, Missouri.

Debbie Galant, director of the WMMC Emergency Room, said the designation allows stroke and trauma patients to stay close to home.

“It means we’ll be able to provide services to the community that they need, that they don’t have to be shipped off to the city,” she said. “We can keep them here at home with their loved ones.”

Patty Richey, WMMC’s TCD manager, said earning TCD designation is a lengthy process. She said the process took months to meet the standards of Missouri’s Time Critical Diagnosis designation system.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services created this designation system in partnership with the Missouri Foundation for Health and more than 400 healthcare and emergency professionals across the state, according to a WMMC press release.

WMMC applied for TCD designation in two out of the three time-critical areas: stroke and trauma. The medical center has plans to apply for heart attack designation in the near future, according to the press release.

Richey said TCD department at WMMC had been collecting data and charts of certain kinds of patients that they had to present to the state. They then had four state reviewers come to the hospital; they included a trauma physician, an ER nurse, office physician and a TCD state department representative.

Besides meeting standards there was new equipment the ER needed to obtain in order to be considered. Galant said the medical center is now equipped with a transvenous pacemaker, a rapid infuser, a fluid warmer, a bear hugger-warming blanket, cooling blanket and other necessary equipment for surgeons such as tools to put in chest tubes.

Galant said trauma is one of the biggest reasons for ER visits and timely care is important in improving patient outcome. She said the department strives for 30 minutes between entering in the door to discharge, which is evidence based practice. Unintentional injury or trauma is the fifth leading cause of death in Missouri, according to a WMMC press release.

“We work hard to ensure we meet the highest standards of care for our community,” Simon Clark, DO, Emergency Department Medical Doctor, said in a press release. “And this means we are now in a position to provide potentially life-saving care for even more patients.”