Richmond, VA — HCA Virginia's Chippenham Hospital has achieved provisional status as a Level I trauma center by the State Health Commissioner from the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Health. Earning Level I trauma accreditation will make Chippenham the second hospital in the region with this status. It is the highest level of trauma care that a patient can receive.
"The growing healthcare needs of Central Virginia and the surrounding areas will eventually strain the existing trauma services," said Khaled Basiouny, M.D., FACS, trauma medical director at Chippenham Hospital. "As a trauma leader, Chippenham Hospital has stepped up to meet this demand."
According to Basiouny, Chippenham Hospital has been providing trauma quality outcomes that meet or exceed state and national averages as a Level II trauma center since they received this designation in 2015. Additionally, Chippenham meets or exceeds quality outcome benchmarks from the American College of Surgeons (ACS), which aim to improve care for the surgical patient and safeguard standards of care.
"Given Virginia's unique mix of large population areas, there is a critical need for trauma care throughout the state," said Basiouny. "Patients who live in rural areas south and west of Central Virginia deserve to have the same level of trauma care as those in the metro Richmond area. Having a trauma access point closer to them may mean the difference between life and death."
As a Level II trauma center, Chippenham Hospital has been able to initiate definitive care for patients by providing 24/7 on-site trauma surgeons, who are available immediately. In addition, trauma experts with a variety of surgical specialties are on call 24/7 and required to be at bedside within 30 minutes. Basiouny also says that Level I certification allows Chippenham to care for all patient acuity levels onsite, without transfer, including limb reattachment.
In 2017, the HCA Virginia Health System treated 1.1 million Virginians, and provided services to 13.8 percent of all Virginia inpatients. HCA Healthcare's service areas cover nearly 5.6 million Virginians, or 68.2 percent of the state's population.
HCA Virginia's other trauma centers include Johnston-Willis and Henrico Doctors' Hospitals, which are Level III and Level II trauma centers, respectively. In Virginia, the trauma designation process is voluntary and intended to identify the various levels of capability available at participating hospitals. There are three levels in the state. These include:
- Level I - a comprehensive regional source that is capable of providing total care for every aspect of injury from prevention to rehabilitation.
- Level II - facilities that are able to initiate definitive care for all injured patients.
- Level III - centers that have demonstrated an ability to provide prompt assessment, resuscitation, surgery, intensive care and stabilization of injured patients and emergency operations.
Although Level I and II trauma centers are clinically equivalent, many area EMS agencies require their staff to take severe trauma to the highest level in the region, which previously left only one Level I trauma center to absorb that burden. Chippenham's status as a Level I trauma center will help to make the highest level trauma care more available to Central Virginia residents. In addition, Chippenham will have more surgical specialists on-call and promptly available as compared to its operation as a Level II trauma center.
"Our commitment to high quality trauma care will be complimented by our efforts to be a resource to all other trauma centers in Virginia," said William Lunn, M.D., chief executive officer of Chippenham & Johnston-Willis Hospitals. "With our current emergency room expansion underway, including an increase in trauma bays and trauma specialists, we demonstrate that we are dedicated to providing the best care for these patients during this critical time - and any time - during their continuum of care."
Staffed 24/7 by pediatric-trained emergency physician and nurse specialists, Chippenham Hospital plays a critical role in emergency care as Central Virginia's busiest adult and pediatric ER.
In one year, the State will return to re-evaluate Chippenham Hospital's progress during a site visit. If all criteria are met during the provisional timeframe, during which Chippenham is fully operational as a Level I trauma center, the hospital will receive its full, official Level I trauma designation.