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Texas Trauma Institute and John S. Dunn Sr. Burn Center Again Receive Verification from Esteemed Accreditation Organizations

After a highly successful site visit from surveyors last fall, the Memorial Hermann Texas Trauma Institute at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center (TMC) and Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital both recently received re-certification as Level I trauma centers from the American College of Surgeons (ACS). The verification process is administered by the Verification, Review, and Consultation Program (VRC) which was created by the ACS in 1987 in an effort to help hospitals improve trauma care. Valid for three years, the certification shows that a facility has successfully met or exceeded specific criteria put forth by the ACS’ Committee on Trauma.

According to Tom Flanagan, chief operating officer at Memorial Hermann-TMC, the latest trauma survey results are the organization’s most successful to date, with the lead surveyor from ACS commenting that the Texas Trauma Institute is the top in the country. “Both the adult hospital and Children’s showed zero deficiencies while being lauded for a number of strengths across a multitude of areas,” said Flanagan

Trauma injury is the leading cause of death and disability for Americans under the age of 44 and is projected to be the leading cause of death for the population as a whole, worldwide, by the year 2020. As one of the busiest trauma centers in the nation, the Memorial Hermann-TMC Campus treats more than 16,000 patients each year. It is one of only a handful of programs in the country that has a Level I trauma center for both adult and pediatric patients, a verified burn center, and its own air ambulance service – Memorial Hermann Life Flight®. The Institute is led by trauma surgeon and retired United States Army Colonel John B. Holcomb, M.D., FACS, director of the Institute and chief of the division of Acute Care Surgery and professor of surgery at UTHealth Medical School.

Additionally, the John S. Dunn Sr. Burn Center at Memorial Hermann-TMC – Houston’s only comprehensive burn treatment center – was also recently re-designated as a Verified Burn Center. Led by renowned burn specialist James M. Cross, M.D., the Center’s latest verification lasts through 2018, showing the program either met or exceeded a rigorous review of standards established as a joint effort of the American Burn Association (ABA) and the American College of Surgeons (ACS). In order to qualify for verification, a burn center must have an annual average census of 100 patients or more and meet other stringent criteria. The site visit team from the ABA and ACS checks to ensure there is a well-communicated EMS plan, an appropriate organizational structure to support burn care, a specifically qualified multidisciplinary physician and support services team in place, and comprehensive burn service coverage.

According to the ABA, earning verification is a true mark of distinction for a burn center and indicates to patients, families and accreditation organizations such as The Joint Commission that the center meets exacting standards and provides high quality care. “The John S. Dunn Sr. Burn Center is an integral part of the Texas Trauma Institute and has an incredible amount of breadth and depth in terms of facilities, equipment and personnel to care specifically for burn patients,” said Toni von Wenckstern, RN, administrative director of the Institute. “It’s an important service to our community, and we are really proud to provide Houston’s only verified burn center.”

In addition to these most recent surveys, the Memorial Hermann-TMC Campus is expecting an unannounced visit from The Joint Commission survey team any time from now through mid-April, and the stroke survey will occur this spring as well, said Flanagan. Last month, surveyors from the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) conducted a full review of Life Flight. Results of the review are anticipated to be announced later this spring.