Editorial: News is good at FairviewFairview Red Wing Medical Center made headlines twice last week. Both stories signaled good news, not only for the hospital but for patients, too.
Fairview Red Wing Medical Center made headlines twice last week. Both stories signaled good news, not only for the hospital but for patients, too.
On Tuesday, the medical center announced it had qualified as a Level 3 trauma center. The designation means 85 percent of patients coming in for trauma care will be treated locally.
We find this noteworthy for at least two reasons. One, people typically recover more quickly when they're closer to home, friends and family, so the official Level 3 designation is important for the most fundamental reasons. Two, Fairview Red Wing Health Services is following through on the commitment made when various medical services merged 10 years ago: The new, larger organization pledged to provide the best comprehensive care possible for the region. The sooner a patient receives the necessary emergency care, the better the odds of survival.
"Trauma is about 15 to 20 percent of our patient care load,” said Jane Gisslen, director of emergency and urgent care services. “We have a lot of recreational trauma — ATV, biking, skiing — so it's important for us to deliver the care that the community needs.”
Those with the worst injuries — the people who require extremely specialized care, such as in a burn unit — still will be stabilized here and then transported to a Level 1 or 2 facility. Every medical complex has its limitations and its specializations. Patients should feel reassured that Fairview Red Wing professionals will continue to refer send people elsewhere when necessary.
Scott Wordelman, president and CEO of Fairview Red Wing Health Services, added that Fairview Red Wing has "outstanding working relationships with the Level 1 trauma centers" nearby, including Regions Hospital in St. Paul and Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
And most Fairview Red Wing patients are satisfied and confident.
That's according to federal survey results reported in Saturday's newspaper. People who used the local hospital from January to June 2007 rated their experience favorably; 72 percent said they definitely would recommend the hospital to others. That's 5 percent higher than the national average and 3 percent higher than the state average.
All this good news surely delighted hospital staff, yet Wordelman said his staff sees room for improvement. They'll continue to strive to deliver exceptional care — whether the visitor arrives by appointment or through the emergency room door. The news gets better and better.