Children's Mercy Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center Earns Prestigious Verification
Children’s Mercy’s Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center has received verification from the American College of Surgeons (ACS), becoming the only ACS-verified Pediatric Level 1 Trauma Center between St. Louis and Denver and one of about 50 freestanding such centers in the country.
“ACS verification represents the highest level of pediatric trauma care available, reducing the risk of complications and leading to better outcomes for patients,” said Senior Director of Emergency Services, Transport and Patient Logistics Shanon Fucik, BSN, RN, MBA, CPN, NEA-BC.
“It requires the expertise and commitment of so many, including our talented Trauma Services team and all the Children's Mercy providers, nurses and emergency department (ED) leaders who partner with us to provide exceptional care to our patients and families,” she added.
Trauma centers across the United States are identified in two ways – by a designation process at the state or local level through legislative or regulatory authority, and by the ACS’s prestigious verification process. Children's Mercy is already the region’s only Level 1-designated pediatric trauma center; ACS verification takes that one step further, meeting essential criteria that ensure capability and institutional performance for every aspect of trauma care. It’s the gold standard.”
David Seastrom, RN, BSN, Trauma Program Manager, led the challenging process of assembling a 120-page pre-review application documenting everything from 24/7 on-site availability of surgeons, critical care physicians and anesthesiologists, defined on-call subspecialist response times and trauma care credentialed nursing staff, to multimodality transport services, trauma care simulations and injury prevention and rehabilitation programs.
The application was followed by a virtual site visit involving interviews with individual specialists and administrators and chart review to confirm that policies and best medical practices are followed.
“Our department worked more than 7,700 hours cumulatively since January to get ready for this survey and also keep up our normal work load,” David said, citing appreciation for team members Erica Livingston, RN, BSN and Maria Ginger-Wiley, RN, BSN, CCRN, both Performance Improvement Coordinators; Jordan Palmer, BSN, RN, Outreach and Education Coordinator; Tabatha Peterson, BSHIM, RHIA, Lead Trauma Registrar; and Trauma Registrars Stacy Normann, AAS, Victoria Stallings, CRCR, and Emily Gribble.
The results are worth it, said David.
“This is the culmination of hard work, dedication, teamwork, leadership commitment and hours of preparation, and a milestone for the entire team,” he said. “The Trauma Service department leads the way, but it is a team effort that requires representation from nearly every unit that cares for trauma patients – medicine, nursing, radiology, laboratory, pharmacy, ED, ICU, transport and more.”
Added David Juang, MD, Trauma Services Medical Director: “Trauma Services and the staff and physicians of Children's Mercy deserve recognition for their hard work and dedication, expertise, and tireless hours they provide to the children and families which has made this verification possible.”
The goal, of course, is exceptional care for patients, something the ACS verification program aims to inspire. Studies have shown that ACS-verified institutions, adult and pediatric, result in fewer patient complications, reduce length of stay, hospital mortality rates and cost.
“In an era when hospital differentiation is important, being an ACS-verified trauma center reinforces our reputation as a provider of exceptional, specialized care for children and families within the community and the region,” Shanon said.
“I could not be prouder of our team for how they approached survey readiness which led to this wonderful outcome,” added Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Tangula Taylor, MBA, BSN, RN, NE-BC. “The meticulous attention to detail and accountability to ensuring compliance with the many standards made a difference, not just for the survey, but ultimately for our patients, families, and community. This is a phenomenal achievement for Children’s Mercy.”
Learn more about trauma care at Children's Mercy.