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Northeast Georgia Medical Center Gainesville becomes nationally verified as a Level II trauma center Certification brings it close to Level I
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Northeast Georgia Medical Center North Patient Tower. - photo by Scott Rogers

As a result of its dedication to quality care and performance improvement program, Northeast Georgia Medical Center Gainesville’s Level II trauma center received national verification by the American College of Surgeons.

Jesse Gibson, the hospital’s trauma program manager, said the facility was first designated as a Level II trauma center by the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Emergency Medical Services & Trauma Office in 2013. 

While the state-level verification was a meaningful first step in the trauma center’s journey, Gibson said the recent national verification confirms the facility’s ability to provide the necessary resources to address the trauma needs of injured patients. 

“People should just feel comfortable knowing that Northeast Georgia Medical Center has put in the resources needed to be the best trauma center we can be,” Gibson said. “This verification proves we’re meeting national standards.”

Gibson said the hospital made the decision to reach national verification a year ago. Physicians and leaders at Northeast Georgia Medical Center formed a group to examine room for improvement with the trauma center. 

Gibson said the American College of Surgeons is more vigorous with its evaluation, compared to the state. Members of the association paid a two-day visit to Northeast Georgia Medical Center Gainesville in December 2018 to look at around 100 of the hospital’s records to see if the staff identified opportunities for improvement and implemented those changes. 

Before the representatives of the American College of Surgeons conducted the review, Gibson said they sat down with specialists and senior leadership at the hospital for a question-and-answer session. A 60-page document was also prepared for the association with data displaying evidence of the trauma center’s high standard of care. 

“Performance improvement work is the one thing I’m most proud of,” Gibson said. “We knew we had room to improve and we did intentional work with the review of cases and our processes to make sure we were doing those the best.”

By mid-January the trauma center passed the onsite evaluation with flying colors. 

Gibson said a Level II trauma center is only a small step away from reaching Level I, which is the highest level. 

One example of the care provided through the hospital to trauma patients includes the progressive mobility project. In the surgical trauma Intensive Care Unit, Gibson said the staff strives to decrease the length of stay with patients and help them become mobile. 

“Our goal is to get them up, even if it’s moving to the side of the bed,” she said. “That’s the progressive thinking that’s happening now.”