Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin redesignated a Level 4 trauma hospital

Published 3:19 pm Monday, February 13, 2023

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The Minnesota Department of Health has redesignated Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin as a Level 4 trauma hospital. The recertification process included an outside review of the hospital’s resources and capabilities to care for trauma patients.

To qualify for Level 4 designation, the trauma hospital must have an established trauma program within its facility that meets the required criteria set forth by the state and a site visit that focuses on three areas:

  • Compliance with the designation criteria
  • Program made toward strengthening the weakness identified during prior site visits
  • Determining how the system can collaboratively support the ongoing and future needs of the hospital’s trauma care commitment.

Trauma hospital designation in Minnesota is valid for three years, and facilities must reapply for recertification.

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“Our staff once again participated in the intense process to be redesignated a level 4 trauma hospital in Minnesota’s statewide trauma system,” says Sumit Bhagra, physician site lead for Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin. “We strive to meet the standards of commitment, clinical and equipment resources, and training needed to continue this designation to ensure we are providing the quality of care expected by our patients in the community.”

The Emergency Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin offers emergency care to patients 24 hours a day, seeven days a week, with access to specialty physicians and critical care services. For a severely injured person, the time between sustaining an injury and receiving definitive care is the most important predictor of surviving the “golden hour.” The chance of survival diminishes with time; however, a trauma system enhances the chance of survival regardless of proximity to an urban trauma hospital.

“Trauma is the third-leading cause of death in Minnesota,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Brooke Cunningham. “The goal of the trauma system is to decrease injured patients’ time to care by making sure their medical needs are appropriately matched with hospital resources. With the designation of Mayo Clinic Health System as a level 4 trauma hospital, we are getting closer to our goal of ensuring that seriously injured Minnesotans have access to an organized system of trauma care wherever they are in the state.”

On average, trauma claims the lives of 2,400 Minnesotans annually. States with trauma systems have seen survival rates increase by 15% to 20%. Wide-scale participation in the voluntary trauma system ensures that a statewide, cooperative effort is in place to care for seriously injured patients.

Minnesota began developing a comprehensive statewide trauma system in August 2005. Through its designation, Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin recognizes the vital role that communities, ambulance services, hospitals and health care professionals play in the care and management of trauma patients.

“The achievement of level 4 hospital trauma designation is a true testament to the expert care our staff provides to our patients in a timely manner and our commitment to continuous performance improvements and training to offer the best care for our patients in their most vulnerable time,” Bhagra said.

Albert Lea’s hospital is also designated a level 4 hospital.