December 18, 2014

Vanderbilt Trauma Center receives American College of Surgeons verification

The country’s leading surgical care organization has bestowed its highest stamp of approval on Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Trauma Center.

The Vanderbilt Trauma Center’s Level 1 ranking was recently verified by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma. (photo by Joe Howell)

The country’s leading surgical care organization has bestowed its highest stamp of approval on Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Trauma Center.

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) Committee on Trauma has verified the Vanderbilt Trauma Center with its Level 1 ranking – the only such center in Tennessee to receive the distinction for the delivery of care to adult trauma patients.

“I am very proud of the trauma team for achieving this recognition from the American College of Surgeons,” said R. Daniel Beauchamp, M.D., chair of the Section of Surgical Sciences. “I also want to express my appreciation to the entire trauma team and to the hospital administration for such great work in making this one of the premier trauma units in the country.”

While VUMC has operated for more than a quarter-century as the region’s only provider of Level 1 trauma care, verification from the ACS goes beyond state-level requirements and affirms that Vanderbilt’s Trauma Center is among the best in the country.

Vanderbilt’s Trauma Center was recently verified as a Level 1 trauma center by the American College of Surgeons. Trauma Center team members include, from left, Melissa Smith, MSN, R.N., Oscar Guillamondegui, M.D., Timothy Nunez, M.D., Richard Miller, M.D., and Cathy Wilson, MSN, R.N. (photo by John Russell)

“Achieving the status of an American College of Surgeons verified Level 1 Trauma Center is the epitome of excellence in the management of critically injured patients,” said Richard Miller, M.D., chief of the Division of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care and a professor of Surgery.

“It places Vanderbilt University Medical Center in a league of its own in outstanding research, education and, most importantly, clinical care of the injured citizens of Middle Tennessee and the surrounding states,” Miller added. “I am incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication of our entire trauma team in succeeding in this great accomplishment.”

The ACS verification process takes into account the entire spectrum of care offered to patients at trauma centers, including outreach and prevention, along with efforts to improve performance and conduct outcomes-based research.

At Vanderbilt’s request, a team of ACS reviewers who are experts in the field of trauma conducted an extensive on-site examination of the hospital and its trauma center.

“This confirms that we’re functioning at the highest level as a trauma center,” said Oscar Guillamondegui, M.D., associate professor of Surgery and Trauma Medical Director. “The people of Middle Tennessee can sleep well at night knowing that we are available 24 hours a day for this level of care.”

Beauchamp commended the work of Guillamondegui and Melissa Smith, R.N., MSN, trauma program manager, for their work and leadership through the application process and on-site examination.

Verified trauma centers must meet the essential criteria that ensure trauma care capability and institutional performance, as outlined by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma. The program provides confirmation that a trauma center has demonstrated its commitment to providing the highest quality of trauma care for all injured patients.

The Vanderbilt Trauma Center covers 65,000 square miles in this region. During its 26-year lifespan, more than 58,000 patients have been admitted to the center, including more than 25,000 motor vehicle accident victims, more than 4,500 gunshot victims, more than 1,700 stabbing victims and more than 7,000 fall victims, along with a high volume of other injuries ranging from construction accidents to pedestrians hit by cars to recreational accidents.