Montgomery County hospitals improve local trauma care

Montgomery County hospitals improve local trauma careTrauma patients in Montgomery County will no longer have to be transferred to the Texas Medical Center for critical care as two local hospitals work to become the first Level II trauma centers in the county.


Conroe Regional Medical Center and Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital have both taken the necessary steps to grow from Level III to Level II trauma centers. The change means the hospitals are now able to treat patients who experience serious brain, spinal cord or major orthopedic injuries that would ordinarily require a transfer to the Texas Medical Center about 40 miles away.


“That saves time, and for trauma time is life. It also saves a tremendous amount of money because it reduces the need for us to helicopter so many people to the Texas Medical Center,” said Randy Johnson, Montgomery County Hospital District CEO.


PATH TO LEVEL II


The CRMC started to offer the services of a Level II trauma center in December 2014—when the hospital went into “in pursuit” status. Although the hospital is still classified as a Level III
center, the “in pursuit” status allows first responders to take trauma patients to the hospital for critical care while the hospital waits for Level II approval by the American College of Surgeons.


To attain the designation, each hospital added full-time specialty surgeons, bolstered its on-call surgical staff and expanded their emergency rooms.


Montgomery County hospitals improve local trauma careConroe Regional CEO Matt Davis said the ACS has already notified Conroe Regional that it meets the criteria for a Level II trauma center, and the hospital is waiting for the Texas Department of State Health Services to approve the designation change. Davis said he anticipates the new designation to become official this year.


Similarly, Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital also went into “in pursuit” status in March. CEO Josh Urban said the hospital has been receiving Trauma Level II patients ever since, and he hopes to receive Level II designation by the end of 2017.


“It is a pretty big commitment from a resource perspective both financially and the recruitment of physicians and upgrades to the facility,” Urban said.


REGIONAL EFFECT


According to the Texas Trauma Registry, about 4 out of every 1,000 adults will require admission to a hospital for trauma care. Davis said demand for high-level trauma services will increase as Montgomery County grows, and about 2,000 local residents are seriously injured each year.


Currently, the only trauma centers in the Greater Houston area that can treat high-level trauma patients are Ben Taub Hospital and Memorial Hermann Hospital—located next to one another in the Texas Medical Center—as well as the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.


“In general, the Greater Houston area should have six or more major trauma centers, so the Greater Houston area has been underserved for decades,” Urban said.


Davis said the Montgomery County hospitals also serve residents of nearby counties.


“People injured in outlying counties have relied on these busy trauma centers [in Houston],” Davis said. “[Now] the majority of these patients will not need to be sent to those trauma centers.”


Johnson said having the two hospitals operating as Level II trauma centers helps the hospital district operate emergency response services more efficiently and improves the chances a critically injured patient will survive.


Urban said because trauma patients can take long periods of time to recover family members will not have to struggle to care for injured relatives.


“Trauma patients can be in the hospital for months, so if you have a family member that is hurt, you are not traveling back and forth to care for them at the medical center,” Urban said.



MOST RECENT

The First Street Foundation's dataset includes a forecast models that anticipate the effects of climate change and sea level rise. (Screenshot via First Street Foundation)
Analysis: FEMA may be undercounting national total flood risk by as much as 70%

The new dataset includes an interactive Flood Factor dashboard that anyone can use to assess the risk of flooding over a 30-year period for any address.

Registration for the voucher program is now available by phone or online. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Montgomery County COVID-19 testing voucher program registration now available online

Residents may be approved for free testing vouchers after completing an informational form through the county health or hospital district websites.

Houston fireworks display
Here’s how to celebrate Fourth of July across the Greater Houston area

Several Houston-area cities are still planning fireworks shows with drive-in or virtual components this Fourth of July.

The laboratory is located in a business park in Oak Ridge North. (Eva Vigh/Community Impact Newspaper)
Conroe-based company made unusable COVID-19 test supplies using $10-million FEMA grant

About one month after receiving the grant, the company ceased production, leaving behind millions of unusable products and little trace of the company’s existence.

Gov. Greg Abbott
Gov. Greg Abbott: Texans must wear masks in public starting July 3

"COVID-19 is not going away," Gov. Abbott said. "In fact, it is getting worse."

The Kemah Boardwalk will be open Fourth of July weekend. (Courtesy Kemah Boardwalk)
3 Houston-area amusement properties will be open Fourth of July weekend

The Kemah Boardwalk, Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier and Downtown Aquarium Houston are offering a joint weekend adventure pass for $29.99.

When interest rates are low, homeowners may look to save money by refinancing, which means getting a new mortgage with a better term or interest rate to lower payments. (Source: Matt Frankel/Community Impact Newspaper)
'Refinancing isn't free:' How to navigate refinancing a mortgage

When interest rates are low, homeowners may look to save money by refinancing, which means getting a new mortgage with a better term or interest rate to lower payments.

Episcopal Health Foundation
Survey: Texans support emphasis on improving economy, safety, pollution to address overall health

“COVID-19 is clearly showing what Texans already know: the state needs to address underlying, non-medical conditions that have a dramatic impact on their health,” Episcopal Health Foundation President and CEO Elena Marks said.

Houston-based Christian Brothers Automotive operates more than 200 locations across the United States. (Courtesy Christian Brothers Automotive)
Q&A: Christian Brothers Automotive CEO talks commercial real estate, essential business operations amid pandemic

The Houston-based automotive company has franchise locations throughout Texas, Georgia, Tennessee and Arizona.

In communities across the nation, Walmart Supercenter parking lots will be transformed into contact-free, drive-in movie theaters beginning in August. (Courtesy Walmart)
Walmart to bring drive-in movies to 160 stores nationwide in August, launch virtual summer camp

Families can also enjoy a virtual summer camp experience Walmart is launching July 8 with sessions led by celebrities, including Drew Barrymore, Neil Patrick Harris and LeBron James.

Montgomery County Memorial Library System will allow Texas residents to access its services through a new online access card. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Montgomery County Memorial Library System launches temporary online library card system

The new online access card will give residents access to e-book, magazines, movies and more.