2022 Billings Clinic Classic Benefiting Advancing to Trauma Level 1 Designation
As the region’s largest health care provider, Billings Clinic plays a major leadership role in maintaining the health and well-being of hundreds of thousands of people who live and work in the vast multi-state region we serve. Last year, Billings Clinic served the health care needs of nearly 165,000 unique patients, the most seen by any hospital organization in our region. These patients accounted for nearly 1 million outpatient and telehealth visits and procedures and nearly 15,000 inpatient hospital stays.
Billings Clinic was verified by the American College of Surgeons in 1992 as a Level II Trauma Center. We are the longest continually verified Trauma Center in Montana. In partnership with our network of affiliates, we continue to advance leadership in emergency and trauma care, helping patients recover close to home. There are currently no Level I Trauma Centers in Montana or Wyoming. Billings Clinic has taken the bold step to elevate lifesaving care across our region by seeking Level I Trauma Center designation. This will be a multi-year effort that will include 3 phases.
The first phase will create alignment and increase our capacity. We are currently the busiest Level II Trauma Center in our state. We must expand our Emergency Department to continue to serve our patients from throughout the vast geographic region we serve. Oftentimes, an Emergency Department serves as the entrance to the hospital. Patients frequently arrive in unstable conditions and must be treated quickly. The “golden hour” or the first 60 minutes following a traumatic injury are very critical for a patient. It is during this time that there is the highest likelihood that prompt medical and surgical treatment will prevent death. It is essential that the department operate as a cohesive, high functioning unit. Built in 2007, our Emergency Department was constructed to serve 30,000 patients each year. Last year, our Emergency Department recorded nearly 52,000 visits. This was a 7.5% increase in Emergency Department demand in just the past year and a 32% increase over the past 10 years.
During the height of the COVID pandemic, our Emergency Department hallways were closed to create temporary “rooms” for patients waiting to be moved to a hospital room. From this, we learned that patient flow, and the ability to isolate patients into specialized treatment areas is essential. The renovation of our current Emergency Department will include designated trauma areas and additional rooms for non-trauma patients to address the increasingly high demand for emergency services in our region.
The 2022 Classic will support a $4.2 million initiative to construct a new, state of the art Emergency Department that will begin Phase I of our multi-year effort to become a Level I Trauma Center. Your support of this initiative will help raise the bar for lifesaving and complex care in our multi-state region.