ETMC Tyler passes inspection for Level I Trauma Facility

TYLER, TX - East Texas Medical Center Tyler has been re-designated by the Texas Department of State Health Services as a comprehensive Level I trauma facility.

This is the highest designation possible, and ETMC Tyler is the only Level I trauma facility in the East Texas region. ETMC Tyler was surveyed this spring, and the state designation is good for a three-year period.

Texas Commissioner of Health David Lakey, M.D., says in a letter, "Your hospital is to be commended for its ongoing commitment to ensure quality care is available for trauma patients in its area. I also want to thank you and your staff for the continued leadership role you have assumed in the development of our state trauma system.  Congratulations on this impressive accomplishment."

ETMC Vice President of Operations Art Chance says, "We are very proud of meeting the tough standards for trauma care by the American College of Surgeons.  In 1998, ETMC Tyler became the first Level I trauma center in East Texas. And this year, following a stringent survey of our facilities, staff, procedures and outcome statistics by the ACS, ETMC Tyler was re-designated as the region's one and only Level I trauma center."

Chance said, "Studies show that having a Level I trauma center saves more lives, and in fact, survival rates have increased dramatically since we became the region's only Level I trauma center."

According to the American College of Surgeons, a Level I facility is a regional resource trauma center that is a tertiary care facility central to the trauma care system.  This facility must have the capability of providing leadership and total care for every aspect of injury, from prevention through rehabilitation.  In addition to acute care responsibilities, Level I trauma centers have the major responsibility of providing leadership in education, research, and system planning.  This responsibility extends to all hospitals caring for injured patients in their regions.

A Level I trauma facility must meet a long list of strict requirements, including:

  • Trauma surgeons on site 24 hours a day, not on call at home
  • Anesthesia services on site 24 hours a day
  • State-of-the-art operating rooms reserved for trauma patients 24 hours a day
  • A full-time research team to identify and track advances in trauma treatment
  • An aggressive performance improvement program to assure the ongoing use of the most effective treatment methods for patients
  • Meticulous tracking of outcome statistics through the Trauma Registry date program
  • High training and certification requirements for every trauma team member
  • A residency program, which allows visiting physicians to train with trauma experts to learn the most advanced treatment methods.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, there are 16

Level I trauma centers in the state, including three in Dallas, three in Houston, two in Austin, Fort Worth, Ft. Sam Houston, El Paso, Temple, San Antonio, Lubbock, Lackland Airforce Base and ETMC Tyler.