In a rural state like Idaho, there is a diversity in the demographics of the regions and multiple different levels of emergency medical services, ranging from volunteer ambulance quick-response units all the way to full paramedic level services.
With a diverse pre-hospital level of care and a rural state, organizing care for a patient with a time-sensitive emergency can be challenging.
“The Idaho Time Sensitive Emergencies Council encourages hospitals like us to mobilize and look outside of our organization to partner with other services and facilities to optimize the care of the patients in our shared community with a time-sensitive emergency,” said Stephanie Shawver, manager of the primary stroke program and STEMI program at St. Luke's Magic Valley.
St. Luke’s Magic Valley became a designated time sensitive emergency (TSE) level two stroke center on Feb. 14, 2017. Time sensitive emergency level two stroke centers are also designated at St. Luke’s Boise and St. Luke’s Meridian.
In addition to stroke center designation, St. Luke’s Boise and St. Luke’s Meridian are designated level one TSE centers for STEMI. St. Luke’s Nampa and St. Luke’s Fruitland are designated level 2 TSE centers for STEMI. The designations are in place for three years.
“Adhering to the best practices required to achieve this designation allows our stroke program to give our patients with stroke the best shot at a successful outcome,” Shawver said. “When states organize themselves around the care of patients with time-sensitive emergencies, patient outcomes can be optimized.”
The Idaho Time Sensitive Emergency program, formally recognized by the Idaho Legislature in 2014, includes EMS providers, hospitals, health care providers, insurers and others working together to decrease the number of deaths and disabilities caused by conditions such as stroke, STEMI and trauma.“Looking at other states in the nation with these organized systems of care for time-sensitive emergencies, you will see lower mortality rates and reduced disabilities in these patient populations,” Shawver said. “If we are able to get to a patient faster and ultimately provide treatment quicker, we are improving the chances that we can reduce that patient’s disability from their stroke and optimize their outcome.”
Michelle Bartlome is the public relations manager at St. Luke's Magic Valley.