The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recently designated Mayo Clinic Health System in St. James as a level 4 trauma hospital. Mayo Clinic Health System in St. James and staff voluntarily participated in the intense designation process to become part of Minnesota's statewide trauma system. The process included an outside review of the hospital's resources and capabilities to care for trauma patients. Mayo Clinic Health System in St. James met standards of commitment, clinical and equipment resources, and staff training. The hospital also participates in a continuous performance improvement process.
"Receiving the level 4 trauma designation from MDH is a testament to the quality of our health care provider team and the trust the community has instilled in the medical center," says Jen Langbehn, D.O., Mayo Clinic Health System in St. James medical director. "This achievement is essential for the continued growth of our hospital, as well as our Emergency Department, which is ranked in the top 10 percent in the nation."
For a severely injured person, the time between sustaining an injury and receiving definitive care is the most important predictor of survival – the "golden" hour. The chance of survival diminishes with time; however, a trauma system enhances the chance of survival regardless of proximity to an urban trauma hospital.
"Trauma is the third leading cause of death in Minnesota," says Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Edward Ehlinger. "The goal of the trauma system is to decrease injured patients' time to care by making sure their medical needs are appropriately matched with hospital resources. With the designation of Mayo Clinic Health System in St. James as a level 4 trauma hospital, we are getting closer to our goal of ensuring that seriously injured Minnesotans have access to an organized system of trauma care wherever they are in the state."
On average, trauma claims the lives of 2,400 Minnesotans annually. States with trauma systems have seen survival rates increase by 15 to 20 percent. Wide-scale participation in the voluntary trauma system ensures that a statewide, cooperative effort is in place to care for seriously injured patients.
Minnesota began developing a comprehensive statewide trauma system in August 2005. Through its designation, Mayo Clinic Health System in St. James recognizes the vital role that communities, ambulance services, hospitals and health care professionals play in the care and management of trauma patients.
For more information about Mayo Clinic Health System in St. James, please visit mayoclinichealthsystem.org.