VALLEY — Two nurses from San Luis Valley Health recently contributed data and expertise to a published article about Process Improvement (PI) benchmarking in trauma centers. Julie Ramstetter and Rachael Schell are both Trauma Nurse Coordinators for SLVH’s hospitals, with Julie representing the Regional Medical Center in Alamosa and Rachel representing Conejos County Hospital in La Jara.
When Konnie Martin, CEO for San Luis Valley Health read the publication, she was very proud of the contribution provided by the two trauma nurse managers. “Seeing Julie and Rachael listed as co-authors was a very proud moment for me. The article will be presented at an upcoming SEMTAC meeting in July in Denver. They are both key to the research and as the article discloses, the outcomes for RMC and CCH back up the excellence in our rural level of trauma care.”
Ramstetter tells about how this publication came to fruition. “Ray Coniglio, Vice President of Trauma and Prehospital Services from Centura Health, contacted trauma nurse coordinators in Colorado asking if we would be willing to participate in this research. We are the only rural Level III hospital in the state of Colorado to participate. We looked at different filters to gather the data and then give ideas on how that data would be beneficial feedback for our facilities.”
After many phone calls, meetings and submitting of data, Centura Health published a poster that was selected for the conference and then project coordinators picked several contributors to participate in an oral presentation at the Society of Trauma Nursing conference in St. Louis in April of 2017. Julie Ramstetter and Jodi Townsend from Salida Heart of the Rockies participated in the conference presentation. At that time, conference participants encouraged Coniglio to publish an article.
Ramstetter reflected, “This experience has helped me personally refine my own PI process and find new ideas on how we as a facility at RMC can improve our care. I’ve improved on my data collection and on the feedback I provide to our staff. We are continuously looking at ways we can improve the trauma care here in the SLV.”
Other Level IV trauma centers did contribute besides CCH. Rachel commented, “I hope the study will help improve trauma care in rural areas including the San Luis Valley. I hope it will help larger facilities understand some of the struggles we face on a daily basis with limited resources.”
Julie and Rachael both felt that the project was an excellent insight as to how Level I and Level II trauma centers can be supportive to smaller, rural hospitals with limited resources. The State Emergency Medical and Trauma Advisory Council (SEMTAC) conference, held July 12 in Denver, features a presentation on this research.
Caption: Left, Julie Ramstetter (RMC) and Rachael Schell (CCH) are the Trauma Nurse Coordinators for SLV Health./Courtesy photo