Grand River Health’s trauma program nets high marks in state survey |

Grand River Health’s trauma program nets high marks in state survey

Grand River Health
Special to The Citizen Telegram
Grand River Heath/Contributed Photo
Staff Photo |

The emergency department at Grand River Health received perfect marks on its recent trauma survey from the state of Colorado.

Hospitals are not required to participate in the survey, but studies have shown that hospitals who participate in the program have better outcomes with their patients than those who don’t participate. This is true for large and rural hospitals. (Journal of Rural Health, 2010 June: 26(3):299.)

The survey is conducted every three years and focuses on trauma, communication between physicians and caregivers, effective use of electronic health records, and community education, and it looks for areas of improvement. It assesses the duties a hospital has to perform to qualify for trauma designation and enhance patient safety and outcomes.

On their visit to Grand River Health, the surveyors were impressed with the level of teamwork from the clinical departments to administration, as well as the collaboration with outside agencies, such as Colorado River Fire Rescue.

“Even though this is not a mandatory survey, we choose to participate to help ensure that we are providing the best possible trauma care, which is often a life or death type of situation. We invite the surveyors to help test our readiness and effectiveness in dealing with difficult trauma patients,” said Chief Operating Officer Bill Noel. “Our goal is to save lives and provide the best outcomes possible for our patients. We believe that participating in the survey helps better achieve that goal.”

“Grand River’s perfect survey results are a reflection of a collaborative team effort. This sets the standard for trauma care, and we are extremely happy with the outcome of this survey,” said Emergency Department Director Stacy Pemberton.

Grand River’s focus on the emergency department has been to improve both the quality of our care and our customer service. To that end, there have been a variety of changes within the department. One of the more significant changes involved changing from using an independent physician model to employing the emergency department physicians.

“It was apparent that to continue making positive changes in our emergency department, we needed to engage our physicians in that process,” said Grand River Health CEO Jim Coombs. “Since we began this new model, we have seen our physicians completely immersed in the improvement process from everything from quality improvement to the triage process. This has facilitated positive changes in ways we could have never imagined.”

Grand River Health’s newly employed emergency physicians are Medical Director Matthew Skwiot, Assistant Medical Director Jonathan Gibans, Trauma Director Michael Duehrssen, Sam Kevan, Kenneth Eckstein, William Bevins, Garrett Caputo, Stacie Ranniger and Kimberly Levin.

Grand River also created an innovative “Don’t Get Wrecked” program, which received accolades from the surveyors. They suggested Grand River make the video available to agencies across the state for educational purposes. The program was developed last year and focuses on educating teen drivers on the dangers of distracted driving. You can view the video on Grand River Health’s Facebook page and at

The recent improvements have had an impact on both the care delivered and customer service. When reviewing Grand River’s patient satisfaction surveys from the past two months (July and August 2013), 99 percent of the 478 completed surveys of Grand River’s emergency room patients said they would recommend Grand River Health’s Emergency Department and its staff to a friend.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User