John Corbeil, CEO of HCA Houston Healthcare Kingwood, said via email that getting patients to a trauma center within the first hour of injury drastically increases their chances of survival. Additionally, he said research shows trauma mortality is reduced when patients are treated at a trauma center versus a nontrauma hospital.
“Our area has experienced significant growth, and as the leading hospital in the area, we recognized a need to provide the best trauma care possible,” Corbeil said. “Pursuing this designation is another example of how we are always striving to serve the residents of our local communities.”
From the time an application is submitted, applicants have two years to become designated, said Patricia Brachel, the performance improvement designation coordinator with the DSHS. After that, a hospital must schedule a date for the trauma designation survey, she said.
HCA Houston Healthcare Kingwood—located at 22999 Hwy. 59 N., Kingwood—originally applied for Level IV designation in November 2018, Corbeil said.
However, the facility quickly met its Level IV requirements and instead began aiming for a Level III facility, which would allow it to also provide more resources to patients before transferring them for more specialized care, he said.
While the hospital’s Level III survey date is scheduled for May, officials also submitted a new application to the DSHS on Feb. 17 seeking a Level II
designation. Corbeil said a Level II designation will allow the hospital to provide immediate, 24-hour care by trauma surgeons as well as surgical and critical care specialists.
Two HCA Houston Healthcare hospitals in Clear Lake and Conroe have Level II trauma designations, and HCA Houston Healthcare Northwest is also in pursuit of the Level II trauma designation, he said.
After the May survey results are submitted to the DSHS, the agency will review the survey and recommend approval or denial to the DSHS commissioner, Brachel said.