St. Luke Hospital earns trauma center distinction

Staff writer

St. Luke Hospital received a Level IV Trauma Center designation from Kansas Department of Health and Environment. St. Luke received the distinction through the Kansas Trauma Program, in which participation is optional.

Level IV is the lowest ranking of four trauma level designations. It indicates a rural hospital whose primary role is to stabilize injured patients and transfer them to higher-level facilities if necessary.

To obtain the designation, the hospital’s nurses and care providers were required to receive additional trauma care education, CEO Jeremy Ensey said. He added that the hospital meets to review its treatment of each trauma patient to discuss how the patient was cared for. Before, Ensey said, the hospital did so on an informal basis, but now it does so officially.

“The overall appeal of the program was to know we’re improving our care of trauma patients here in Marion County,” Ensey said. “Obviously we have a very rural population. With a rural population you have a lot of accidents.”

Molly Smith is St. Luke’s trauma program manager. Ensey appointed her in January with a trauma level designation in mind.

“She worked in the emergency room at St. Francis, so she has a lot of good trauma care experience,” Ensey said. “She deserves all the credit.”

Initially the project, launched in 2006, included only three levels of distinction; the fourth level was added in 2012.

“With this designation, we’re partnering with the state, we’re looking at performance improvement, we’re looking at provider education,” Ensey said.

St. Luke is the 29th hospital in Kansas to receive a Level IV designation, and the only one within Marion County and the six surrounding counties to feature a trauma designation of any level.

He added that other care facilities in the area are likely to soon pursue a designation, saying he has discussed the idea with other area care facility administrators.

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