Connection supports CVPH quality efforts in trauma care

Plattsburgh, NY, hospital seeks verification as a Level 3 Trauma Center

The link between trauma care at The University of Vermont Medical Center and The University of Vermont Health Network-Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH) in Plattsburgh, NY, continues to strengthen through coordination, knowledge-sharing and expertise.

Tammy Trombley, CVPH Trauma Program manager, says the hospital has been a New York State-designated Area Trauma Center for many years, “but now New York is requiring that all state-designated hospital trauma centers be verified by the American College of Surgeons (ACS). This includes many rigorous requirements and essentially expands how the trauma service impacts our patients and our community.”

We are sharing knowledge and ideas that will ultimately improve patient care.

Jennifer Gratton, trauma program manager, UVM Medical Center

These requirements included the creation of Trombley’s position, which is responsible for data management, community involvement and improving the overall trauma care experience.

To better understand and implement these requirements, Trombley has turned to her colleague at The University of Vermont Medical Center, Trauma Program Manager Jennifer Gratton. “Jen has been great! She’s a mentor, a valuable resource. I can pick up the phone and call her anytime,” Trombley says.

Building bridges

The process is far from one-sided, Gratton says. The two teams have encouraged participation in the other’s regular trauma conferences and work on rural transport initiatives together. Gratton attends New York State regional trauma meetings.

Playing a key, specialized role in building the hospitals’ relationship is Amy Sharpe, a contract employee of UVM Medical Center who splits her time between the two hospitals as a trauma registrar. Sharpe is responsible for painting a full picture of injury severity and circumstances and compiling that information to help make the overall process smoother.

“Great things will come of having this continuity for our patients – seeing what happened from the time of the patient’s injury in New York, their care at CVPH, transfer to Vermont and their stay at UVM Medical Center,” Sharpe says.

“Having (Sharpe’s) position would not be possible without support from both UVM Medical Center and CVPH leadership. We appreciate their willingness to think outside the box,” says Gratton. “We are sharing knowledge and ideas that will ultimately improve patient care.”

CVPH has submitted its application for verification as a Level 3 Trauma Center and expects ACS review in late 2017. The hospital will soon join UVM Medical Center as a member of the Trauma Quality Improvement Program, now required by the ACS. This program compares each hospital to its peers at the same trauma level.

UVM Medical Center recently completed its own recertification process to remain a Level 1 Trauma Center. The application is in review with ACS, and re-verification of the Adult Level 1 status – as well as Level 2 verification in Pediatrics – is expected within the next few months.