Journey to a Level II Trauma Center

Celebrating Trauma Registry Professionals Day

Please join us in celebrating National Trauma Registry Professionals Day on May 5! Over the past few years, Southcoast Health has made great strides in the journey to establish a Level II Trauma center at St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford. The hospital is on track to earn this designation later this year.

St. Luke’s Offers 24/7 Trauma Center Care

A Level II Trauma Center title is the second-highest designation a hospital can earn and indicates that it can accept the most seriously injured patients in a medical emergency. Clinically, it can perform the same services and procedures as a Level I; the only difference involves academic and research requirements.

Today, St. Luke’s has a full trauma team onboard, as well as a trauma surgeon and staff available 24/7, as Southcoast continues on the path of full accreditation.

One important aspect of a Trauma Center’s responsibility is creating and maintaining a Trauma Registry. The data from each hospital is abstracted and put into the Trauma Registry by a Trauma Registrar. It’s then submitted to the National Trauma Data Bank (NTDB) and Trauma Quality Improvement Program (TQIP), which is then used for research, best practice guidelines, and benchmarking.

Trauma Registry Professionals Maintain Important Data

At St. Luke’s, we have two Trauma Registry Professionals, Kathy Robertson and Kaila Lapierre, who oversee this process. Joining our team in 2019, Kathy has been a Registrar for over 13 years. Kaila joined the Trauma team in March 2020, transitioning from her role as the Administrative Assistant to the Nursing Director in Emergency Department. Learning from Kathy, she is looking forward to becoming a certified Trauma Registrar in the near future.  

“Trauma registrars collect data on patients from the moment that they are injured until the moment they leave the hospital,” Kathy says. “The data stored in the registry aids in developing injury prevention initiatives by enabling the identification of patterns that might otherwise go unnoticed.”

Other industries, such as the automotive industry, can utilize the data from the National Trauma Bank to examine the most common types of trauma accidents and make adjustments to improve product safety.   

Level II Trauma Center Designation

Upon receiving the Level II Trauma Center designation, the team will continue delivering exceptional emergency care, but with the addition of more patients.  Victims of traumatic accidents often find themselves in a race against time and the ability to receive trauma care quickly and close to home could be lifesaving.

Working together, each member of the trauma team at St. Luke’s plays an integral part in emergency patient care. “It’s an amazing team to work with. The members of the team come from a variety of different backgrounds and education. It is really impressive to see how they all work together,” Kaila says.

Always learning from each other, this team is continually improving and always shares the common goal to achieve the best outcome for the patient.

Thank you, Kathy and Kaila!