FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q. What is a trauma center and how is it different from a typical Louisiana hospital?
A. Louisiana (like many states) restricts the use of the “trauma center” label to hospitals that have 1) put in place significant organizational structures and operational resources to consistently address the needs of seriously injured patients, 2) successfully completed the trauma center verification process offered by the American College of Surgeons, Committee on Trauma, and 3) obtained a state-issued trauma center certification.

Q. If I am seriously injured, how can I make sure that I get to a hospital that has the resources to address my injuries?
A. Most of the hospitals and EMS entities in Louisiana have agreements in place with LERN to participate in Louisiana’s statewide trauma network. These participation agreements include the use of standard protocols to identify patients at serious risk due to traumatic injury. The participation agreements also require collaboration with LERN’s Communications Center to identify the nearest hospital with the resources available to address the needs of seriously injured patients.

Q. What is the difference between the statewide trauma system and the 911 emergency telephone service?
A. 911 and statewide trauma systems are complementary services. The 911 emergency telephone service is used by citizens to request needed emergency assistance – fire, police, and medical. The statewide trauma system is a cooperative effort between the 911 emergency telephone service, participating EMS entities and hospital organizations, and the LERN organization (governing board, regional commissions, and professional staff) to continuously improve the effectiveness of trauma care provided in Louisiana.

Hospitals

Q. How many Louisiana hospitals have joined the statewide trauma network by signing a LERN participation agreement?
A. Most of the acute care hospitals in Louisiana have joined the statewide trauma network. As of September 2013, a total of 113 Louisiana hospitals have signed the LERN participation agreement.

Q. How many Louisiana hospitals in my region have joined the statewide trauma network?
A. You can find a current list of the participating hospitals in your region by clicking Regional Commissions – then use your computer mouse to roll over your region on the state map and click.

Q. Can any Louisiana hospital that provides trauma care use the trauma center label in advertising?
A. No. Louisiana state law states, “The trauma center label shall be reserved exclusively for hospitals with state-issued trauma center certification.” (Act No. 934 LA Regular Session, 2010)

Q. What is the process for a hospital to become a trauma center in Louisiana?
A. To become a trauma center in Louisiana, a hospital must successfully complete the trauma center verification process offered by the American College of Surgeons, Committee on Trauma (ACS-COT). After successfully completing the ACS-COT trauma center verification process, hospitals must apply for state certification with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Office of Health Standards. For more information and links to the ACS-COT and the state’s Office of Health Standards, see the Trauma Centers page of this website.

Q. How long does it typically take for a hospital to become trauma center?
A. The American College of Surgeons, Committee on Trauma center verification process is a significant undertaking that typically requires approximately 18 months to complete. The subsequent state certification application process can be completed in approximately eight weeks.

Q. How many different trauma center levels does the State of Louisiana recognize?
A. The state recognizes Level I, Level II, and Level III trauma centers as defined by the American College of Surgeons, Committee on Trauma. Level I is the highest level trauma center.

Q. How can LERN help hospitals that want to consider becoming a trauma center?
A. LERN’s professional staff possesses successful experience with the ACS-COT verification process. LERN’s staff also has solid working relationships with ACS-COT and the state’s Office of Health Standards. Our professional team can provide general guidance to help you get started, and we can offer consulting support throughout the verification and state certification processes.

Q. Does the State provide any type of funding incentives for hospitals to achieve and maintain trauma center status?
A. Currently there is no funding incentive for hospitals to pursue and trauma center status. LERN recognizes the need for some type of stable funding support for hospitals that achieve state-issued trauma center certification. LERN is working collaboratively with the Department of Health and Hospitals and other stakeholders to develop a funding mechanism that would help support a robust statewide network of certified trauma centers.

Q. What about time-sensitive illness? Is LERN building any type of statewide network or certification infrastructure for Stroke and/or STEMI?
A. Yes. LERN is currently in the process of convening volunteer group of health care professionals to research the existing network models for Stroke and STEMI. After completing the research, these volunteer groups will develop recommendations for consideration by LERN’s governing board.

 

EMS

Q. How many Louisiana EMS provider entities have joined the statewide trauma network by signing a LERN participation agreement?
A. Most of the EMS provider entities in Louisiana have joined the statewide trauma network. As of September 2013, a total of 30 Louisiana EMS entities have signed the LERN participation agreement.

Q. How many EMS entities in my region of the state have joined the statewide trauma network?
A. You can find a current list of the participating EMS entities in your region by returning to the home page of this website – then use your computer mouse to roll over your region on the state map and click.

Q. How was the LERN ENTRY CRITERIA: Trauma protocol developed?
A. The LERN ENTRY CRITERIA: Trauma protocol was developed from a national protocol developed by the American College of Surgeons. The national protocol was circulated to health care professionals around the state for their input. Finally, the LERN Governing Board adopted the national protocol with modifications recommended by Louisiana health care professionals.

Q. What percentage of all injuries is serious enough to meet the LERN ENTRY CRITERIA: Trauma protocol?
A. Most injuries are not serious enough to meet the LERN ENTRY CRITERIA: Trauma protocol. Nationally, it is estimated that serious trauma represents between 5% and 10% of all injuries.

Q. What about time-sensitive illness? Is LERN building any type of statewide network or certification infrastructure for Stroke and/or STEMI?
A. Yes. LERN is currently in the process of convening volunteer groups of health care professionals to research the existing network models for Stroke and STEMI. After completing the research, these volunteer groups will develop recommendations for consideration by LERN’s governing board.

Q. How do I get training for my staff?
A. There are three training options available:

  • Call your DRC for your region, and they can facilitate the scheduling of a training event. (For LERN-specific questions or training, contact your LERN Tri-Regional Coordinator).
  • Call DHH directly at 225-342-3417 or email Henry Yennie directly at henry.yennie@la.gov. We can schedule training for your facility in person or through a webinar.
  • Each application will also have short videos in the Help sections that will walk you through the most common tasks.

 

Q. What is a Facility Point of Contact and why do we need one?
A. The Facility Point of Contact gives us one person with which to communicate, and it also allows us to extend some functionality down to the facility level. This functionality includes the ability to maintain contact information for staff in the facility and to create and manage user accounts for that facility. They can also re-set forgotten passwords and look-up forgotten user IDs. While this isn’t required, it would be very helpful and time-saving, giving your facility more control over who does what with these systems.

Q. What happens if I lose my user account information or forget my password?
A. You may do one of the following to regain access to your account information:

  • At the login screen for the portal, you have two options; to change your password or have a new password sent to you.
  • If you can’t remember your username, contact us via the Help number on the portal login screen.
  • Your Facility Point of Contact can also give you this information. They can re-set your password and lookup and/or change your user ID.
  • You can also call the LERN Call Center (LCC), which is operational continuously. LERN Call Center staff has the ability to change your password after confirming your identity. The identity confirmation is done through the use of your security questions.

 

Q. How do we get additional users created for our facility?
A. Your Facility Point of Contact can create them, or you can contact us via the Help screen in any of the applications. If you use the second method, we will call the Facility Point of Contact to verify that it is a legitimate request.

Q. Can we create users that are not specific people, but are based on a position? For example, our Emergency Department supervisors are responsible for updating the Resource Status page. We have high turnover in these positions, and we don’t want to create individual accounts.
A. You can create “position-based” accounts for your facility. Although we would prefer named accounts (these are inherently more secure), we realize that the nature of staffing in a busy facility could make this a management problem. Therefore, you can create “generic” accounts. For example, you could create a “House Supervisor – Days” account and a “House Supervisor – Nights” account.

Your Facility Point of Contact has access to the Security Management application that is used to create these accounts. One of their responsibilities is to ensure that your facility has the right user accounts with the correct contact information.

Q. Can I create a “read-only” view that could be kept continuously displayed in my ED?
A. Yes. You can create a user with read-only privileges. We would suggest creating a generic account such as “ED User” with the read-only role.

Q. Can I have persons listed in the Security database without giving them user accounts?
A. Absolutely. The starting point for anyone is to create a contact. You can create as many contacts as you need. These should be people or positions that need to receive notifications and alerts from the systems. You do not have to create user accounts for these contacts.

However, you must first create a contact or “person” before creating a user account. We have a step-by-step guide available for this process.

Q. Can I use the messaging system as the emergency notification system for my facility?
A. No. While this is technically possible, we are licensed for 2,000 members with the company that provides the back-end communications functionality (Everbridge). We do not want to violate the terms of our contract agreement or take advantage of this very powerful capability. This capacity must be evaluated as we get requests for notifications from other groups such as the LERN Regional Commissions, GOHSEP Regional Coordinators, and others that work with ESF 8 and LERN.

We will consider expanding the overall membership as funding permits.

Q. Why do I have to enter my cell phone number twice in order to receive text messages?
A. Some persons have business cell phones that do not have the texting function enabled. Other persons have told us they are charged on a per-text basis. While these scenarios are not common, we don’t want to assume something for all users.

Initially, if you want to receive text messages on either your business or personal cell phones, you must re-enter these numbers and categorize them as Business Text and/or Personal Text.

We are considering an enhancement for a future version that allows you to easily indicate whether or not your cell number also has texting enabled, avoiding the duplicate number entry.

Q. What is the protocol for updating statuses in the LERN view?
A. Continue to update your LERN screens 2 times per day (q12hr) and individual resources as needed or change of status.

If there is no change; please UPDATE every 12 hours by clicking SAVE under ALL services using your “Pencil” icon to left of your hospital name.

Q. What do the LERN Hospital Status Definitions mean (Green, Red, and Double Dash)?
A. GREEN means YES – The specified service/capability is available.

RED means NO – The specified service/capability exists at the hospital but is currently unavailable.
A RED status will require your hospital to update the LERN view (accessed via “RESOURCE MANAGEMENT (LERN)” in the main portal window or under LERN tab via “ESF-8 Portal” when it goes RED or when it returns to GREEN again.

The “- -“symbol means the service is NOT AVAILABLE at your institution.
This status is NOT optional. Please do not input NO if you do not have the service. These are preset protocols carried over from EMResource™ and are very important in monitoring critical service changes throughout the state.

Suggestions
You can enter comments related to a specific service in that service comment box during editing or updating service statuses.
Please keep general comments (Far right of screen) current and insert Trauma Services related messages.

Q. Can you clarify the mandated use requirements for the various applications?
A.

System Mandated Use During an Emergency? What is the Update Frequency?
Security Module Indirectly. The contact information stored in the Security application is used for emergency messaging. Frequently enough to ensure that accurate contact information is available.
EMSTAT Yes. This is the core emergency management application for
monitoring facility status.
Dictated by DHH depending on nature of event.
Resource Management – ED Potential, depending upon the nature of the emergency and the decision of the DHH Secretary. Dictated by DHH depending on nature of event.
Resource Management – LERN Potential, depending upon the nature of the emergency and the decision of the DHH Secretary. Dictated by DHH depending on nature of event.
At Risk Registry Yes, if your facility is evacuating patients or sheltering-in-place during an event. While it is not legally required, it is the system used by the State to furnish data to other stakeholders such as military transport support, search and rescue teams, etc. Dictated by DHH depending on nature of event.
Incident Management and Messaging Indirectly. The Incident Management and Messaging application is the system of record for formal notifications to facilities during a declared event. Dictated by DHH depending on nature of event.