Bozeman Deaconess
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Bozeman Deaconess Trauma Center Earns Level III Verification

January 6, 2009

Bozeman Deaconess Hospital has earned, for the third time, Level III Trauma Center verification by the American College of Surgeons (ACS). To qualify, hospitals must meet high trauma patient care, quality monitoring and case reporting standards. "Level III designation
recognizes our trauma team's dedication to providing optimal care for injured patients," says R. James Majxner, MD, Bozeman Deaconess Emergency Services Medical Director and hospital Chief of Staff. "We have Level III designation because we have a highly trained ER staff, state-of-the-art equipment and anesthesiology, surgery, radiology, lab and blood banking capabilities available 24 hours a day," says Majxner.

Response time is critical to saving the lives of trauma victims. The on-call trauma team, consisting of trauma surgeon, anesthesiologist, radiologist and lab, x-ray and operating room nurses, activate from the field and assemble in the Emergency Department, usually before the patient arrives. The trauma team, like the emergency physician and nursing staff, is available 24/7. Bozeman Deaconess also offers advanced emergency imaging and other state-of-the-art equipment to rapidly evaluate and treat trauma victims.

Garth Olds, MD, Surgical Associates of Bozeman, is Director of Trauma Services at Bozeman Deaconess. "We pride ourselves on the fact that we are a Level III trauma center," he says. "Level III trauma centers offer better injury care, reducing mortality rates up to 30 percent." Olds credits Charles Rinker, MD, for working to make the hospital eligible for verification. Rinker, former Director of Trauma Services at Bozeman Deaconess for 15 years, is a national Level III trauma center reviewer for the ACS and co-authored the Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) manual used throughout the world.

Rinker says there is no difference in degree of commitment and medical/nursing requirements between various levels of trauma centers. "Level I and II centers differ in that their communities are large enough to support neurosurgeons, cardiac surgeons or replantation specialists," he says. "There isn't a hospital our size that does a better job than we do."

Montana has hospitals with three levels of verification: Level II to Level IV. There is no Level I trauma center in the state. The closest Level I facilities are located in Seattle, WA and Salt Lake City, Utah.
Level II trauma centers are found in Great Falls, Missoula, and Billings.

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