Walter Reed Bethesda Receives Level II Trauma Verification

Story Number: NNS131218-12Release Date: 12/18/2013 4:12:00 PM
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From Office of Media Relations, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

BETHESDA, Md. (NNS) -- Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) was recognized during a ceremony Dec. 18 for receiving Level II Trauma Center verification, joining an elite group of hospitals.

In September 2013, the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Committee on Trauma conducted an intensive site visit and review, evaluating all phases and areas of trauma care to include the Medical Center's emergency department, blood bank, intensive care unit, operating rooms and rehabilitation facilities. Using the high standards outlined in their Resources for the Optimal Care of the Injured Patient manual, the ACS Committee on Trauma determined that WRNMMC more than exceeded its requirements for verification.

Only 155 U.S. medical centers across the Nation have met the comprehensive and rigorous criteria required by ACS to achieve this designation of excellence. "This verification as a Level II Trauma Center is yet another testimony to the superb care we here at Walter Reed Bethesda provide every day for those we are privileged to serve," said Walter Reed Bethesda Director, Brig. Gen. Jeffrey B. Clark.

Since 2001, Walter Reed Bethesda has cared for over 5000 of our nation's finest men and women as they recover from the wounds of war. We embraced their families as members of our extended health care team and we supported each other as the tempo surged and the "usual" didn't meet the need. We researched, we tested, we refined and we shared all that we came to believe would make a difference.

Our commitment to the highest standards of patient care, patient safety, performance improvement, medical education, research and teamwork provides outstanding trauma care for Wounded Warriors and all we are privileged to serve; therefore, we sought to benchmark our processes against national standards. In researching the ACS criteria for trauma center verification and delivery of care to the injured patient, we recognized that WRNMMC's well-established, multi-disciplinary, hospital-wide approach not only met, but in many cases exceeded, the rigorous criteria laid out by the ACS.

As an opportunity to challenge ourselves, Walter Reed Bethesda pursued verification to validate the processes and procedures developed are in keeping with the standards of care set forth by world experts in trauma care.

At the presentation ceremony of the verification plaque, Dr. David B. Hoyt, M.D., FACS, executive director, The American College of Surgeons stated, "I took this job and have practiced as a trauma surgeon for nearly 35 years, based on what I have learned through what you have just gone through, becoming a certified trauma center, I think it's probably the most important thing we can do." It's about commitment. It's commitment to the standards of care, measuring your performance on daily basis through data systems and the process of evaluating how you are doing on a daily basis. Creating that public assurance by subjecting yourself to that external peer review, by letting someone from the outside come in and take a look at what you do. This plaque that will hang on your wall really represents that commitment to all of those essential elements. 'This is a model for healthcare going forward," said Hoyt.

According to Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, Jonathan Woodson, M.D, "This designation represents an enduring commitment to extraordinarily high standards. What you have achieved is nothing short of truly amazing."

WRNMMC's American College of Surgeons verification as a Level II Trauma Center reflects a one team, patient-centered approach involving more than 60 departments and services within our medical center, ranging from audiology to nutrition to pastoral care to surgical specialties. This verification is a testament to a patient-centered, hospital-wide effort

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the world's largest joint military medical center, also known as the flagship of military medicine, where the nation heals our heroes, provides extraordinary experiences for patients, families, and staff while driving tomorrow's healthcare advances through education, innovation and research.

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