A huge congratulations is due to our very own Emergency Department. In February, their patient satisfaction scores grew so high that we surpassed all other care sites in the SCL Health System! Way to go ED! If you’d like to see a more in-depth look at Emergency Department satisfaction ratings across the system, click here.
PVMC passed their Level III Trauma Designation Review with no deficiencies. Of note, the surveyors were very impressed with our facility, staff and the collaboration of all departments that make a successful trauma program. Strengths that they recognized:
- Administration support of Trauma outstanding
- Interdepartmental relationships really stand out
- PI program is outstanding, one of the best they have seen
- Education for trauma is great, keep up the commitment to education
- ED runs efficiently and strong
- EMS onsite is such a strength and a plus for good patient care
- The improvements in care that have had to take place for trauma have benefited all of the patients (not just trauma), your community is coming to your hospital for care.
Thank you all who were involved and who participate in the trauma program on a daily basis.
The Everbridge Emergency Notification Systems (ENS) will go live on Thursday, February 15 at noon with the following codes:
- PVMC – Code Black (Bomb Threat)
- PVMC – Code D (Incident Command Center Activation)
- PVMC – Code Green (Combative Subject)
- PVMC – Code Orange (Hazardous Material Spill)
- PVMC – Code Pink (Infant Abduction)
- PVMC – Code Red (Fire)
- PVMC – Facility Notification – This notification type is used for generic facility notifications
- PVMC – Security Alert – Active Shooter
- PVMC – Security Alert – General Threat
- PVMC – Weather Alert – This notification type is used for generic weather notifications
Everbridge can send messages through various contact pathways such as pagers, email, text messages, and phones to alert associates and providers of emergency events. It is important to note that all contact pathways may not be used for all notifications.
The primary method most associates will receive emergency notifications will be via computer alerts (via an application called Alertus). These may appear as scrolling messages, pop-up messages, and full-screen messages. For most codes listed above, a popup will be the primary method of delivery. See example below:
Existing notification procedures, such as overhead paging will remain unchanged with the addition of Everbridge notifications.
Update Your Contact Information and Preferences
To ensure that you are notified during emergencies, please take a moment to ensure your contact information is up-to-date by going to The Landing -> Applications -> ICE.
Alertus Lock Screen Messages
Lock screen messages allow us to call your attention to emergency situations via locked computers.
There are two notification formats (see below). Additionally, to help identify the message, locked computers will display the following headline at the top of the page: “LOCK SCREEN MESSAGE.”
- Information notifications & urgent notifications will display a static message to “Please log in to view an important alert issued by SCL Health.” Associates should login to the computer to view the message.
- Emergency notifications will display the actual alert test so that associates and visitors can take immediate action. Associates should take immediate action based on the message. It is not necessary to login to the computer.
When logged in, all computers will continue to display notifications in the following formats:
- Information notifications may appear as a scrolling ticker across the screen. Examples include technology issues and utility events.
- Urgent notifications may appear as a popup message on the screen. Examples include hospital emergency codes.
- Emergency notifications may appear as a full-screen display. Examples include active shooter and tornado warnings.
If you experience any issues with this desktop notification system, please contact the Technical Assistance Center at 855-866-8282.
Recently, after returning from a 21-day deployment, Wendy Colon, Director of PVMC’s Emergency Department, made an appearance on Fox 31’s “Good Day Colorado” news program where she shared her experiences involving hurricane relief efforts in the U.S. and the Caribbean.
Wendy and her 36-member National Disaster Medical System team, of which she was the Commander, were deployed to Texas, and eventually ended up in Puerto Rico where she and her team provided emergency medical and mental health assistance.
Her team of physicians, nurses, paramedics, administrators, logistics and mental health personnel, assisted with a broad range of emergency needs resulting from hurricane Harvey, in Texas, and also in Puerto Rico and St. John (US Virgin Islands) after the damage caused by hurricane Irma.
In Puerto Rico, they was involved in repatriation work at the airport, and also opened a dialysis shelter for more than 120 dialysis patients that came from the Virgin Islands.
Together Wendy’s team along with medical personnel from other parts of the States were able to assist with the medical emergency needs and temporary shelters for thousands of residents affected by the recent hurricanes.
“This was such a rewarding experience for me and my team,” said Wendy. “Thank you all for the support that you gave me and the ED while I was gone. I appreciated the time to be able to do this important work.”
Yesterday we received official word from the State of Colorado that Platte Valley Medical Center has achieved Level III Trauma Center certification. This means we are now capable of treating and admitting trauma patients in our community. The entire hospital will be affected by this achievement, as we will now be able to admit higher acuity trauma patients to the floors, and EMS is able to transport higher acuity trauma patients here from the field. This brings big benefits to our community, who will now be able to receive higher level trauma services at PVMC instead of being transferred to another hospital.
In order to meet the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) requirements to achieve this certification, Platte Valley was required to adopt new education for inpatient nursing, and a new trauma registry database was implemented. New equipment was installed in the ED, OR and ICU for trauma resuscitation.
Last week, the CDPHE conducted the qualifying survey on our hospital. Platte Valley met all criteria with no recommendations. Our Level III Trauma certification is effective immediately, and good for the next 18 months. If you would like to view our certification announcement, it is available here and our reviewer’s comments here. If you have any questions, please contact Trauma Coordinator Andrea Moore via email or at x1919.
We would like thank the entire multidisciplinary trauma team for all the hard work that was involved in making this certification happen!
Next Thursday, October 27, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., representatives from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) along with a trauma surgeon and trauma coordinator from other Colorado facilities will review Platte Valley’s application for Trauma Level III Designation. This team will follow a scoring tool to assess Platte Valley’s ability to meet the minimum state standards. After a thorough review, facility tour, assessment, chart, policy and procedure review, Platte Valley hopes to learn the team’s decision that day.
Platte Valley is currently designated as a Level IV Trauma Center, which means we have demonstrated an ability to provide advanced trauma life support (ATLS) prior to transfer of patients to a higher level trauma center. We provide evaluation, stabilization, and diagnostic capabilities for injured patients.
With our advancements in training, equipment, and the addition of dedicated surgeons provided by Apex Surgical Partners, our hope is that we can be designated a Level III Trauma Center. Level III Trauma Centers demonstrate an ability to provide prompt assessment, resuscitation, surgery, intensive care, and stabilization of injured patients and emergency operations.
Elements of Level III Trauma Centers:
- 24-hour immediate coverage by emergency medicine physicians and the prompt availability of general surgeons and anesthesiologists.
- The incorporation of a comprehensive quality assessment program.
- Developed transfer agreements for patients requiring more comprehensive care at a Level I or Level II Trauma Center.
- Provides back-up care for rural and community hospitals.
- Offers continued education of the nursing and allied health personnel or the trauma team.
- Involved with prevention efforts and must have an active outreach program for its referring communities.
As soon as we learn the outcome of our upcoming survey, the news will be shared with all.
Brighton Community Emergency Physicians would like to acknowledge Renna Foos as the first ever “Employee of the Year” for 2015. Renna is an irreplaceable asset to the Emergency Department. She is always in a happy mood and the first person to offer help to anyone. Her cheerful attitude and professionalism is the glue that holds our department together. Congratulation Renna, well deserved!
Here at PVMC we understand that the opportunity for career advancement is important for the satisfaction of our employees. Very often, the best person for a particular job is someone who is already working with us, who already understands our mission and culture. This week and next we’ll feature several employees who have recently taken on new and exciting roles within our facility.
Andrea Moore was a Night Charge Nurse in the Emergency Departmetnt. Recently, she was promoted to Trauma Coordinator, Staff Development Coordinator and Emergency Department Clinical Coordinator. My old job title was ED night charge nurse. In her new role, Andrea hopes to help PVMC become a Level III Trauma Center. She wants to encourage collaboration between clinical coordinators in each department to improve house-wide policies and procedures. Andrea would also like to use her new position to educate and train her coworkers.
In her free time, Andrea likes camping and hiking. Her favorite place to camp is in Moab.
Please congratulate April Coronel, the Emergency Department’s employee of the month for June. She is always such a pleasure to work with and has a smile on her face. She is eager to learn and always ready to jump in and help. She has excelled in many areas of PVMC behavior standards but we want to recognize her specifically for the “I pursue excellent performance” standard.
She always brings enthusiasm to work: April even jumped in and did CPR on a patient for us
She shows that she enjoys her work: Always smiling and ready to work
She performs her job with excellence: Knows her duties very well and goes above and beyond and is ready to help in any aspect she can (including cleaning rooms)
She seeks out learning opportunities as much as possible: Wants to watch and learn when we intubated a patient and when we placed a chest tube
She shares her knowledge with others: Check the charge sheets very well and is very thorough with her checks. Helped us get Medicaid for a patient that had been here for days because he did not have insurance and could not be placed, April came in to work and in 15 minutes had insurance for this patient!
Great work April, well deserved!
Emergency rooms in any hospital are notorious for long waits, especially for patients with less critical issues.
When a patient arrives in the ED, they are triaged and assigned a number between 1 and 5, to indicate the severity of their issue. A level 1 is very critical and needs care right away, whereas a 5 is the lowest level of emergency, and can wait a little while.
Recently, the ED has noticed a significant increase in patient flow, so they decided to be proactive and find a way to reduce that traffic. They have adopted a program called Fast Track to decrease wait times for low acuity patients and increase patient satisfaction.
The Fast Track program has been officially in place for two weeks now. To get started, the ED spent a month observing peak traffic hours to determine when the most 4 and 5 level patients arrived. They found that most 4s and 5s showed up after schools let out, and offices closed. Next, the ED assigned a doctor and nurse team to treat only 4s and 5s. Their goal was to decrease patient wait times by half, from an average of 3 hours to 1.5 hours.
This program doesn’t change the triage process, or delay treatment for critical 1s and 2s. Instead, it streamlines treatment for all ED patients by reducing the number of people waiting for treatment. Fast Track programs have already been adopted by many hospitals nationwide.
So far Fast Track is working well, although on slow days, it’s difficult to keep a doctor and nurse busy with only a few 4s and 5s. However, Emergency Department Director Wendy Colon expects that as patient traffic increases, Fast Track will grow; eventually it will have its own dedicated staff and hours. “We hope this program will continue to decrease the length of time minor patients are in the ED, and increase their satisfaction with our service,” says Wendy.
Please join the CSI team in congratulating Mike Cusack, the ED Superstar for June. Mike quickly acclimated to life in the ED and has become a strong and reliable tech on night shift. He is eager to learn and helps out whenever and however needed. Thank you, Mike. We definitely appreciate all that you do!
The Emergency Department has forged the way for yet another milestone. On September 24, the Emergency Department Information System was successfully implemented. This system gives both the medical provider and the nursing staff the capability of integrated assessment documentation in the electronic record.
The day started as many others except with a whole lot more nursing staff and providers. Wendy Colon spearheaded the event with the IS team in the Incident Command Center located ED/MI conference room. Beth Wichmann (Super User, Charge Nurse) took over as the incident commander overnight. Beth was the first-line support for the emergency department team.
In appreciation of her great understanding and expert knowledge, a special super hero cape was created for Beth (Super User Extraordinaire and Incident Commander). You will see that Beth sports the cape well. The Siemens staff was quite impressed with how well she did in her role.
The entire ED team has done well with the new system as we continue through our learning curve of becoming fast and efficient with the new documentation. Thank you to the entire ED team because they prepared and trained for the system, and thank you to the entire organization for their understanding while the ED makes this incredible journey. Darrell Messersmith and his entire team have helped the emergency department immensely. We could not have considered such an incredible leap without such an incredible team! Great job everyone, and Beth-what a great Incident Commander you make!
Once upon a time, there was an Emergency Department that was almost unrecognizable to the one we have today. It was a time when patients came right up to the registration desk to be admitted and you had to ring an actual doorbell to let the rest of the staff know a new patient had arrived.
There were no Clinicians/ER techs to be found – just a registration desk and a much smaller staff to escort patients to their designated rooms.
And if that doesn’t have you thinking how much things have changed, let’s talk about privacy rooms. What used to be rooms separated only by curtains is now 17 separate, private rooms and we no longer have to keep repeating “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” in our best Oz voice.
As for the lab, there used to be a square window with a door, essentially a hole in the wall used to get everything to the lab from the ED, complete with a buzzer to let them know we had something ready for them. Since then we’ve gone to the tube system that takes everything directly to the pharmacy.
Before the PACS system, where doctors are able to see an image instantly on their computers, they simply used a Radiology hot lamp. Everything was documented through the nurses’ hard copies rather than electronic charting.
One thing that has always remained the same, however, is the quality of our nurses.
Throughout a changing environment, now better equipped and run more efficiently than ever, the staff is consistently passionate and professional about their work. They are the kind of people who have truly realized their calling.
With so much progress and expansion that has occurred just within this last year, becoming a Certified Stroke Center and with the expansion of Cardiovascular services, we look forward to welcoming Dr. Khan as our second Interventional Cardiologist. There’s no doubt the ED has a bright future ahead.
The Emergency Department staff has chosen an employee of the quarter. The employee is chosen based upon the qualities of, teamwork, compassion regarding patients and families, dedication to the organization and department, positive attitude and quality care.
Mary has had a colorful and interesting nursing career, more so than many nurses and has demonstrated the true essence of what it means to be a nurse. In 1963, Mary graduated with a diploma from Mercy School of Nursing in Toledo, Ohio. This propelled her into a very interesting career path. She completed one year at Mercy hospital and then continued her path by volunteering in Peru in what she considered to be third world medicine for the next 1 ½ years.
She returned from this challenging learning opportunity to work in a Burn unit for five years. Burn unit nurses are called to this area as it takes an intelligent, compassionate, critical thinker to work with these complicated patients. Mary has shared a soft spot in her heart by working with multiple Indian tribes throughout the USA. The multiple tribes that Mary has worked with are the Navaho in Indiana, the Blackfoot in Montana and the Apache in Arizona.
Mary completed five years of service with the V.A. hospital and then settled for 20 years in Maryland where, after much searching, Platte Valley Medical Center found her and coaxed her to come to Colorado. Mary finished her final five years of her 50-year nursing career in PVMC’s Emergency Department.
She came with the intention of working for a little while and stayed for five years. She has finally decided that at age 72 she should retire so that she could continue to have fun and travel with her beloved spouse. We are sad to see her go, but are blessed to have such a wonderful nurse in our midst for these past 5 years and to have a friend for life! Happy journeys and from one motorcycle enthusiast to another, “Keep the rubber on the road!”
Your ED Family!
Tune in to the ICE every two weeks for Planetree Perspective shorts. Each edition will include one or two short stories of great Planetree service from around our hospital.
In April 2012, a patient arrived in the Emergency Department with chest pain. His adult daughter runs a daycare while caring for her own children. She came to ED with 5 toddlers and an infant in a car seat. The daughter positioned the children on a bench in front of the nurses’ station while she supported her father. Nicholaus turned the cart in room 17 into a makeshift couch. He led all the children by the hand into room 17 and put them on the “couch” to watch TV. Nicholaus gathered stickers, crackers, and juice for the little ones’ afternoon snack time. The patient was subsequently admitted and the children were picked up by the patient’s son-in-law which allowed the daughter to stay with her father. Nicholaus was able to help the woman support her father by keeping her charges entertained in a time of crisis.