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Chapter 70.168 RCW

STATEWIDE TRAUMA CARE SYSTEM

RCW Sections

70.168.010Legislative finding.
70.168.015Definitions.
70.168.020Steering committee -- Composition -- Appointment.
70.168.030Analysis of state's trauma system -- Plan.
70.168.040Emergency medical services and trauma care system trust account.
70.168.050Emergency medical services and trauma care system -- Department to establish -- Rule making -- Gifts.
70.168.060Department duties -- Timelines.
70.168.070Provision of trauma care service -- Designation.
70.168.080Prehospital trauma care service -- Verification -- Compliance -- Variance.
70.168.090Statewide data registry -- Quality assurance program -- Confidentiality.
70.168.100Regional emergency medical services and trauma care councils.
70.168.110Planning and service regions.
70.168.120Local and regional emergency medical services and trauma care councils -- Power and duties.
70.168.130Disbursement of funds to regional emergency medical services and trauma care councils -- Grants to nonprofit agencies -- Purposes.
70.168.135Grant program for designated trauma care services -- Rules.
70.168.140Prehospital provider liability.
70.168.150Emergency cardiac and stroke care system -- Voluntary hospital participation.
70.168.160Report to the legislature.
70.168.900Short title.
70.168.901Severability -- 1990 c 269.


70.168.010
Legislative finding.

The legislature finds and declares that:

     (1) Trauma is a severe health problem in the state of Washington and a major cause of death;

     (2) Presently, trauma care is very limited in many parts of the state, and health care in rural areas is in transition with the danger that some communities will be without emergency medical care;

     (3) It is in the best interest of the citizens of Washington state to establish an efficient and well-coordinated statewide emergency medical services and trauma care system to reduce costs and incidence of inappropriate and inadequate trauma care and emergency medical service and minimize the human suffering and costs associated with preventable mortality and morbidity;

     (4) The goals and objectives of an emergency medical services and trauma care system are to: (a) Pursue trauma prevention activities to decrease the incidence of trauma; (b) provide optimal care for the trauma victim; (c) prevent unnecessary death and disability from trauma and emergency illness; and (d) contain costs of trauma care and trauma system implementation; and

     (5) In other parts of the United States where trauma care systems have failed and trauma care centers have closed, there is a direct relationship between such failures and closures and a lack of commitment to fair and equitable reimbursement for trauma care participating providers and system overhead costs.

[1990 c 269 § 1; 1988 c 183 § 1.]




70.168.015
Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms have the meanings indicated unless the context clearly requires otherwise.

     (1) "Cardiac" means acute coronary syndrome, an umbrella term used to cover any group of clinical symptoms compatible with acute myocardial ischemia, which is chest discomfort or other symptoms due to insufficient blood supply to the heart muscle resulting from coronary artery disease. "Cardiac" also includes out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, which is the cessation of mechanical heart activity as assessed by emergency medical services personnel, or other acute heart conditions.

     (2) "Communications system" means a radio and landline network which provides rapid public access, coordinated central dispatching of services, and coordination of personnel, equipment, and facilities in an emergency medical services and trauma care system.

     (3) "Department" means the department of health.

     (4) "Designated trauma care service" means a level I, II, III, IV, or V trauma care service or level I, II, or III pediatric trauma care service or level I, I-pediatric, II, or III trauma-related rehabilitative service.

     (5) "Designation" means a formal determination by the department that hospitals or health care facilities are capable of providing designated trauma care services as authorized in RCW
70.168.070.

     (6) "Emergency medical service" means medical treatment and care that may be rendered at the scene of any medical emergency or while transporting any patient in an ambulance to an appropriate medical facility, including ambulance transportation between medical facilities.

     (7) "Emergency medical services and trauma care planning and service regions" means geographic areas established by the department under this chapter.

     (8) "Emergency medical services and trauma care system plan" means a statewide plan that identifies statewide emergency medical services and trauma care objectives and priorities and identifies equipment, facility, personnel, training, and other needs required to create and maintain a statewide emergency medical services and trauma care system. The plan also includes a plan of implementation that identifies the state, regional, and local activities that will create, operate, maintain, and enhance the system. The plan is formulated by incorporating the regional emergency medical services and trauma care plans required under this chapter. The plan shall be updated every two years and shall be made available to the state board of health in sufficient time to be considered in preparation of the biennial state health report required in *RCW 43.20.050.

     (9) "Emergency medical services medical program director" means a person who is an approved program director as defined by RCW 18.71.205(4).

     (10) "Facility patient care protocols" means the written procedures adopted by the medical staff that direct the care of the patient. These procedures shall be based upon the assessment of the patients' medical needs. The procedures shall follow minimum statewide standards for trauma care services.

     (11) "Hospital" means a facility licensed under chapter 70.41 RCW, or comparable health care facility operated by the federal government or located and licensed in another state.

     (12) "Level I-pediatric rehabilitative services" means rehabilitative services as established in RCW 70.168.060. Facilities providing level I-pediatric rehabilitative services provide the same services as facilities authorized to provide level I rehabilitative services except these services are exclusively for children under the age of fifteen years.

     (13) "Level I pediatric trauma care services" means pediatric trauma care services as established in RCW 70.168.060. Hospitals providing level I services shall provide definitive, comprehensive, specialized care for pediatric trauma patients and shall also provide ongoing research and health care professional education in pediatric trauma care.

     (14) "Level I rehabilitative services" means rehabilitative services as established in RCW 70.168.060. Facilities providing level I rehabilitative services provide rehabilitative treatment to patients with traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, complicated amputations, and other diagnoses resulting in functional impairment, with moderate to severe impairment or complexity. These facilities serve as referral facilities for facilities authorized to provide level II and III rehabilitative services.

     (15) "Level I trauma care services" means trauma care services as established in RCW 70.168.060. Hospitals providing level I services shall have specialized trauma care teams and provide ongoing research and health care professional education in trauma care.

     (16) "Level II pediatric trauma care services" means pediatric trauma care services as established in RCW 70.168.060. Hospitals providing level II services shall provide initial stabilization and evaluation of pediatric trauma patients and provide comprehensive general medicine and surgical care to pediatric patients who can be maintained in a stable or improving condition without the specialized care available in the level I hospital. Complex surgeries and research and health care professional education in pediatric trauma care activities are not required.

     (17) "Level II rehabilitative services" means rehabilitative services as established in RCW 70.168.060. Facilities providing level II rehabilitative services treat individuals with musculoskeletal trauma, peripheral nerve lesions, lower extremity amputations, and other diagnoses resulting in functional impairment in more than one functional area, with moderate to severe impairment or complexity.

     (18) "Level II trauma care services" means trauma care services as established in RCW 70.168.060. Hospitals providing level II services shall be similar to those provided by level I hospitals, although complex surgeries and research and health care professional education activities are not required to be provided.

     (19) "Level III pediatric trauma care services" means pediatric trauma care services as established in RCW 70.168.060. Hospitals providing level III services shall provide initial evaluation and stabilization of patients. The range of pediatric trauma care services provided in level III hospitals are not as comprehensive as level I and II hospitals.

     (20) "Level III rehabilitative services" means rehabilitative services as established in RCW 70.168.060. Facilities providing level III rehabilitative services provide treatment to individuals with musculoskeletal injuries, peripheral nerve injuries, uncomplicated lower extremity amputations, and other diagnoses resulting in functional impairment in more than one functional area but with minimal to moderate impairment or complexity.

     (21) "Level III trauma care services" means trauma care services as established in RCW 70.168.060. The range of trauma care services provided by level III hospitals are not as comprehensive as level I and II hospitals.

     (22) "Level IV trauma care services" means trauma care services as established in RCW 70.168.060.

     (23) "Level V trauma care services" means trauma care services as established in RCW 70.168.060. Facilities providing level V services shall provide stabilization and transfer of all patients with potentially life-threatening injuries.

     (24) "Patient care procedures" means written operating guidelines adopted by the regional emergency medical services and trauma care council, in consultation with local emergency medical services and trauma care councils, emergency communication centers, and the emergency medical services medical program director, in accordance with minimum statewide standards. The patient care procedures shall identify the level of medical care personnel to be dispatched to an emergency scene, procedures for triage of patients, the level of trauma care facility to first receive the patient, and the name and location of other trauma care facilities to receive the patient should an interfacility transfer be necessary. Procedures on interfacility transfer of patients shall be consistent with the transfer procedures required in chapter 70.170 RCW.

     (25) "Pediatric trauma patient" means trauma patients known or estimated to be less than fifteen years of age.

     (26) "Prehospital" means emergency medical care or transportation rendered to patients prior to hospital admission or during interfacility transfer by licensed ambulance or aid service under chapter 18.73 RCW, by personnel certified to provide emergency medical care under chapters 18.71 and 18.73 RCW, or by facilities providing level V trauma care services as provided for in this chapter.

     (27) "Prehospital patient care protocols" means the written procedures adopted by the emergency medical services medical program director that direct the out-of-hospital emergency care of the emergency patient which includes the trauma patient. These procedures shall be based upon the assessment of the patients' medical needs and the treatment to be provided for serious conditions. The procedures shall meet or exceed statewide minimum standards for trauma and other prehospital care services.

     (28) "Rehabilitative services" means a formal program of multidisciplinary, coordinated, and integrated services for evaluation, treatment, education, and training to help individuals with disabling impairments achieve and maintain optimal functional independence in physical, psychosocial, social, vocational, and avocational realms. Rehabilitation is indicated for the trauma patient who has sustained neurologic or musculoskeletal injury and who needs physical or cognitive intervention to return to home, work, or society.

     (29) "Secretary" means the secretary of the department of health.

     (30) "Trauma" means a major single or multisystem injury requiring immediate medical or surgical intervention or treatment to prevent death or permanent disability.

     (31) "Trauma care system" means an organized approach to providing care to trauma patients that provides personnel, facilities, and equipment for effective and coordinated trauma care. The trauma care system shall: Identify facilities with specific capabilities to provide care, triage trauma victims at the scene, and require that all trauma victims be sent to an appropriate trauma facility. The trauma care system includes prevention, prehospital care, hospital care, and rehabilitation.

     (32) "Triage" means the sorting of patients in terms of disposition, destination, or priority. Triage of prehospital trauma victims requires identifying injury severity so that the appropriate care level can be readily assessed according to patient care guidelines.

     (33) "Verification" means the identification of prehospital providers who are capable of providing verified trauma care services and shall be a part of the licensure process required in chapter 18.73 RCW.

     (34) "Verified trauma care service" means prehospital service as provided for in RCW 70.168.080, and identified in the regional emergency medical services and trauma care plan as required by RCW 70.168.100.

[2010 c 52 § 2; 1990 c 269 § 4.]

Notes:

     Reviser's note: *(1) RCW 43.20.050 was amended by 2011 c 27 § 1, eliminating the "state health report."

     (2) The definitions in this section have been alphabetized pursuant to RCW 1.08.015(2)(k).

     Findings -- Intent -- 2010 c 52: "(1) The legislature finds that:

     (a) In 2006, the governor's emergency medical services and trauma care steering committee charged the emergency cardiac and stroke work group with assessing the burden of acute coronary syndrome, otherwise known as heart attack, cardiac arrest, and stroke and the care that people receive for these acute cardiovascular events in Washington.

     (b) The work group's report found that:

     (i) Despite falling death rates, heart disease and stroke were still the second and third leading causes of death in 2005. All cardiovascular diseases accounted for thirty-four percent of deaths, surpassing all other causes of death.

     (ii) Cardiovascular diseases have a substantial social and economic impact on individuals and families, as well as the state's health and long-term care systems. Although many people who survive acute cardiac and stroke events have significant physical and cognitive disability, early evidence-based treatments can help more people return to their productive lives.

     (iii) Heart disease and stroke are among the most costly medical conditions at nearly four billion dollars per year for hospitalization and long-term care alone.

     (iv) The age group at highest risk for heart disease or stroke, people sixty-five and older, is projected to double by 2030, potentially doubling the social and economic impact of heart disease and stroke in Washington. Early recognition is important, as Washington demographics indicate a significant occurrence of acute coronary syndromes by the age of fifty-five.

     (c) The assessment of emergency cardiac and stroke care found:

     (i) Many cardiac and stroke patients are not receiving evidence-based treatments;

     (ii) Access to diagnostic and treatment resources varies greatly, especially for rural parts of the state;

     (iii) Training, protocols, procedures, and resources in dispatch services, emergency medical services, and hospitals vary significantly;

     (iv) Cardiac mortality rates vary widely depending on hospital and regional resources; and

     (v) Advances in technology and streamlined approaches to care can significantly improve emergency cardiac and stroke care, but many people do not get the benefit of these treatments.

     (d) Time is critical throughout the chain of survival, from dispatch of emergency medical services, to transport, to the emergency room, for emergency cardiac and stroke patients. The minutes after the onset of heart attack, cardiac arrest, and stroke are as important as the "golden hour" in trauma. When treatment is delayed, more brain or heart tissue dies. Timely treatment can mean the difference between returning to work or becoming permanently disabled, living at home, or living in a nursing home. It can be the difference between life and death. Ensuring most patients will get lifesaving care in time requires preplanning and an organized system of care.

     (e) Many other states have improved systems of care to respond to and treat acute cardiac and stroke events, similar to improvements in trauma care in Washington.

     (f) Some areas of Washington have deployed local systems to respond to and treat acute cardiac and stroke events.

     (2) It is the intent of the legislature to support efforts to improve emergency cardiac and stroke care in Washington through an evidence-based coordinated system of care." [2010 c 52 § 1.]




70.168.020
Steering committee — Composition — Appointment.

(1) There is hereby created an emergency medical services and trauma care steering committee composed of representatives of individuals knowledgeable in emergency medical services and trauma care, including emergency medical providers such as physicians, nurses, hospital personnel, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, ambulance services, a member of the emergency medical services licensing and certification advisory committee, local government officials, state officials, consumers, and persons affiliated professionally with health science schools. The secretary shall appoint members of the steering committee. Members shall be appointed for a period of three years. The department shall provide administrative support to the committee. All appointive members of the committee, in the performance of their duties, may be entitled to receive travel expenses as provided in RCW 43.03.050 and 43.03.060. The secretary may remove members from the committee who have three unexcused absences from committee meetings. The secretary shall fill any vacancies of the committee in a timely manner. The terms of those members representing the same field shall not expire at the same time.

     The committee shall elect a chair and a vice chair whose terms of office shall be for one year each. The chair shall be ineligible for reelection after serving four consecutive terms.

     The committee shall meet on call by the secretary or the chair.

     (2) The emergency medical services and trauma care steering committee shall:

     (a) Advise the department regarding emergency medical services and trauma care needs throughout the state.

     (b) Review the regional emergency medical services and trauma care plans and recommend changes to the department before the department adopts the plans.

     (c) Review proposed departmental rules for emergency medical services and trauma care.

     (d) Recommend modifications in rules regarding emergency medical services and trauma care.

[2011 1st sp.s. c 21 § 28; 2000 c 93 § 20; 1990 c 269 § 5; 1988 c 183 § 2.]

Notes:

     Effective date -- 2011 1st sp.s. c 21: See note following RCW 72.23.025.




70.168.030
Analysis of state's trauma system — Plan.

(1) Upon the recommendation of the steering committee, the director of the office of financial management shall contract with an independent party for an analysis of the state's trauma system.

     (2) The analysis shall contain at a minimum, the following:

     (a) The identification of components of a functional statewide trauma care system, including standards; and

     (b) An assessment of the current trauma care program compared with the functional statewide model identified in subsection (a) of this section, including an analysis of deficiencies and reasons for the deficiencies.

     (3) The analysis shall provide a design for a statewide trauma care system based on the findings of the committee under subsection (2) of this section, with a plan for phased-in implementation. The plan shall include, at a minimum, the following:

     (a) Responsibility for implementation;

     (b) Administrative authority at the state, regional, and local levels;

     (c) Facility, equipment, and personnel standards;

     (d) Triage and care criteria;

     (e) Data collection and use;

     (f) Cost containment strategies;

     (g) System evaluation; and

     (h) Projected costs.

[1998 c 245 § 117; 1988 c 183 § 3.]




70.168.040
Emergency medical services and trauma care system trust account.

The emergency medical services and trauma care system trust account is hereby created in the state treasury. Moneys shall be transferred to the emergency medical services and trauma care system trust account from the public safety education account or other sources as appropriated, and as collected under RCW 46.63.110(7) and 46.68.440. Disbursements shall be made by the department subject to legislative appropriation. Expenditures may be made only for the purposes of the state trauma care system under this chapter, including emergency medical services, trauma care services, rehabilitative services, and the planning and development of related services under this chapter and for reimbursement by the health care authority for trauma care services provided by designated trauma centers.

[2011 1st sp.s. c 15 § 86; 2010 c 161 § 1158; 2002 c 371 § 922; 1997 c 331 § 2; 1990 c 269 § 17; 1988 c 183 § 4.]

Notes:

     Effective date -- Findings -- Intent -- Report -- Agency transfer -- References to head of health care authority -- Draft legislation -- 2011 1st sp.s. c 15: See notes following RCW 74.09.010.

     Effective date -- Intent -- Legislation to reconcile chapter 161, Laws of 2010 and other amendments made during the 2010 legislative session -- 2010 c 161: See notes following RCW 46.04.013.

     Severability -- Effective date -- 2002 c 371: See notes following RCW 9.46.100.

     Effective date -- 1997 c 331: See note following RCW 70.168.135.




70.168.050
Emergency medical services and trauma care system — Department to establish — Rule making — Gifts.

(1) The department, in consultation with, and having solicited the advice of, the emergency medical services and trauma care steering committee, shall establish the Washington state emergency medical services and trauma care system.

     (2) The department shall adopt rules consistent with this chapter to carry out the purpose of this chapter. All rules shall be adopted in accordance with chapter
34.05 RCW. All rules and procedures adopted by the department shall minimize paperwork and compliance requirements for facilities and other participants. The department shall assure an opportunity for consultation, review, and comment by the public and providers of emergency medical services and trauma care before adoption of rules. When developing rules to implement this chapter the department shall consider the report of the Washington state trauma project established under chapter 183, Laws of 1988. Nothing in this chapter requires the department to follow any specific recommendation in that report except as it may also be included in this chapter.

     (3) The department may apply for, receive, and accept gifts and other payments, including property and service, from any governmental or other public or private entity or person, and may make arrangements as to the use of these receipts, including any activities related to the design, maintenance, or enhancements of the emergency medical services and trauma care system in the state. The department shall make available upon request to the appropriate legislative committees information concerning the source, amount, and use of such gifts or payments.

[1990 c 269 § 3.]




70.168.060
Department duties — Timelines.

The department, in consultation with and having solicited the advice of the emergency medical services and trauma care steering committee, shall:

     (1) Establish the following on a statewide basis:

     (a) By September 1990, minimum standards for facility, equipment, and personnel for level I, II, III, IV, and V trauma care services;

     (b) By September 1990, minimum standards for facility, equipment, and personnel for level I, I-pediatric, II, and III trauma-related rehabilitative services;

     (c) By September 1990, minimum standards for facility, equipment, and personnel for level I, II, and III pediatric trauma care services;

     (d) By September 1990, minimum standards required for verified prehospital trauma care services, including equipment and personnel;

     (e) Personnel training requirements and programs for providers of trauma care. The department shall design programs which are accessible to rural providers including on-site training;

     (f) Statewide emergency medical services and trauma care system objectives and priorities;

     (g) Minimum standards for the development of facility patient care protocols and prehospital patient care protocols and patient care procedures;

     (h) By July 1991, minimum standards for an effective emergency medical communication system;

     (i) Minimum standards for an effective emergency medical services transportation system; and

     (j) By July 1991, establish a program for emergency medical services and trauma care research and development;

     (2) Establish statewide standards, personnel training requirements and programs, system objectives and priorities, protocols and guidelines as required in subsection (1) of this section, by utilizing those standards adopted in the report of the Washington trauma advisory committee as authorized by chapter 183, Laws of 1988. In establishing standards for level IV or V trauma care services the department may adopt similar standards adopted for services provided in rural health care facilities authorized in chapter
70.175 RCW. The department may modify standards, personnel training requirements and programs, system objectives and priorities, and guidelines in rule if the department determines that such modifications are necessary to meet federal and other state requirements or are essential to allow the department and others to establish the system or should it determine that public health considerations or efficiencies in the delivery of emergency medical services and trauma care warrant such modifications;

     (3) Designate emergency medical services and trauma care planning and service regions as provided for in this chapter;

     (4) By July 1, 1992, establish the minimum and maximum number of hospitals and health care facilities in the state and within each emergency medical services and trauma care planning and service region that may provide designated trauma care services based upon approved regional emergency medical services and trauma care plans;

     (5) By July 1, 1991, establish the minimum and maximum number of prehospital providers in the state and within each emergency medical services and trauma care planning and service region that may provide verified trauma care services based upon approved regional emergency medical services and trauma care plans;

     (6) By July 1993, begin the designation of hospitals and health care facilities to provide designated trauma care services in accordance with needs identified in the statewide emergency medical services and trauma care plan;

     (7) By July 1990, adopt a format for submission of the regional plans to the department;

     (8) By July 1991, begin the review and approval of regional emergency medical services and trauma care plans;

     (9) By July 1992, prepare regional plans for those regions that do not submit a regional plan to the department that meets the requirements of this chapter;

     (10) By October 1992, prepare and implement the statewide emergency medical services and trauma care system plan incorporating the regional plans;

     (11) Coordinate the statewide emergency medical services and trauma care system to assure integration and smooth operation between the regions;

     (12) Facilitate coordination between the emergency medical services and trauma care steering committee and the emergency medical services licensing and certification advisory committee;

     (13) Monitor the statewide emergency medical services and trauma care system;

     (14) Conduct a study of all costs, charges, expenses, and levels of reimbursement associated with providers of trauma care services, and provide its findings and any recommendations regarding adequate and equitable reimbursement to trauma care providers to the legislature by July 1, 1991;

     (15) Monitor the level of public and private payments made on behalf of trauma care patients to determine whether health care providers have been adequately reimbursed for the costs of care rendered such persons;

     (16) By July 1991, design and establish the statewide trauma care registry as authorized in RCW 70.168.090 to (a) assess the effectiveness of emergency medical services and trauma care delivery, and (b) modify standards and other system requirements to improve the provision of emergency medical services and trauma care;

     (17) By July 1991, develop patient outcome measures to assess the effectiveness of emergency medical services and trauma care in the system;

     (18) By July 1993, develop standards for regional emergency medical services and trauma care quality assurance programs required in RCW 70.168.090;

     (19) Administer funding allocated to the department for the purpose of creating, maintaining, or enhancing the statewide emergency medical services and trauma care system; and

     (20) By October 1990, begin coordination and development of trauma prevention and education programs.

[1990 c 269 § 8.]




70.168.070
Provision of trauma care service — Designation.

Any hospital or health care facility that desires to be authorized to provide a designated trauma care service shall request designation from the department. Designation involves a contractual relationship between the state and a hospital or health care facility whereby each agrees to maintain a level of commitment and resources sufficient to meet responsibilities and standards required by the statewide emergency medical services and trauma care system plan. By January 1992, the department shall determine by rule the manner and form of such requests. Upon receiving a request, the department shall review the request to determine whether the hospital or health care facility is in compliance with standards for the trauma care service or services for which designation is desired. If requests are received from more than one hospital or health care facility within the same emergency medical planning and trauma care planning and service region, the department shall select the most qualified applicant or applicants to be selected through a competitive process. Any applicant not designated may request a hearing to review the decision.

     Designations are valid for a period of three years and are renewable upon receipt of a request for renewal prior to expiration from the hospital or health care facility. When an authorization for designation is due for renewal other hospitals and health care facilities in the area may also apply and compete for designation. Regional emergency medical and trauma care councils shall be notified promptly of designated hospitals and health care facilities in their region so they may incorporate them into the regional plan as required by this chapter. The department may revoke or suspend the designation should it determine that the hospital or health care facility is substantially out of compliance with the standards and has refused or been unable to comply after a reasonable period of time has elapsed. The department shall promptly notify the regional emergency medical and trauma care planning and service region of suspensions or revocations. Any facility whose designation has been revoked or suspended may request a hearing to review the action by the department as provided for in chapter
34.05 RCW.

     As a part of the process to designate and renew the designation of hospitals authorized to provide level I, II, or III trauma care services or level I, II, and III pediatric trauma care services, the department shall contract for on-site reviews of such hospitals to determine compliance with required standards. The department may contract for on-site reviews of hospitals and health care facilities authorized to provide level IV or V trauma care services or level I, I-pediatric, II, or III trauma-related rehabilitative services to determine compliance with required standards. Members of on-site review teams and staff included in site visits are exempt from chapter 42.56 RCW. They may not divulge and cannot be subpoenaed to divulge information obtained or reports written pursuant to this section in any civil action, except, after in camera review, pursuant to a court order which provides for the protection of sensitive information of interested parties including the department: (1) In actions arising out of the department's designation of a hospital or health care facility pursuant to this section; (2) in actions arising out of the department's revocation or suspension of designation status of a hospital or health care facility under this section; or (3) in actions arising out of the restriction or revocation of the clinical or staff privileges of a health care provider as defined in RCW 7.70.020 (1) and (2), subject to any further restrictions on disclosure in RCW 4.24.250 that may apply. Information that identifies individual patients shall not be publicly disclosed without the patient's consent. When a facility requests designation for more than one service, the department may coordinate the joint consideration of such requests.

     The department may establish fees to help defray the costs of this section, though such fees shall not be assessed to health care facilities authorized to provide level IV and V trauma care services.

     This section shall not restrict the authority of a hospital or a health care provider licensed under Title 18 RCW to provide services which it has been authorized to provide by state law.

[2005 c 274 § 343; 1990 c 269 § 9.]

Notes:

     Part headings not law -- Effective date--2005 c 274: See RCW 42.56.901 and 42.56.902.




70.168.080
Prehospital trauma care service — Verification — Compliance — Variance.

(1) Any provider desiring to provide a verified prehospital trauma care service shall indicate on the licensing application how they meet the standards required for verification as a provider of this service. The department shall notify the regional emergency medical services and trauma care councils of the providers of verified trauma care services in their regions. The department may conduct on-site reviews of prehospital providers to assess compliance with the applicable standards.

     (2) Should the department determine that a prehospital provider is substantially out of compliance with the standards, the department shall notify the regional emergency medical services and trauma care council. If the failure of a prehospital provider to comply with the applicable standards results in the region being out of compliance with its regional plan, the council shall take such steps necessary to assure the region is brought into compliance within a reasonable period of time. The council may seek assistance and funding from the department and others to provide training or grants necessary to bring a prehospital provider into compliance. The council may appeal to the department for modification of the regional plan if it is unable to assure continued compliance with the regional plan. The department may authorize modification of the plan if such modifications meet the requirements of this chapter. The department may suspend or revoke the authorization of a prehospital provider to provide a verified prehospital service if the provider has refused or been unable to comply after a reasonable period of time has elapsed. The council shall be notified promptly of any revocations or suspensions. Any prehospital provider whose verification has been suspended or revoked may request a hearing to review the action by the department as provided for in chapter
34.05 RCW.

     (3) The department may grant a variance from provisions of this section if the department determines: (a) That no detriment to public health and safety will result from the variance, and (b) compliance with provisions of this section will cause a reduction or loss of existing prehospital services. Variances may be granted for a period not to exceed one year. A variance may be renewed by the department. If a renewal is granted, a plan of compliance shall be prepared specifying steps necessary to bring a provider or region into compliance and expected date of compliance.

     (4) This section shall not restrict the authority of a provider licensed under Title 18 RCW to provide services which it has been authorized to provide by state law.

[1990 c 269 § 10.]




70.168.090
Statewide data registry — Quality assurance program — Confidentiality.

(1) By July 1991, the department shall establish a statewide data registry to collect and analyze data on the incidence, severity, and causes of trauma, including traumatic brain injury. The department shall collect additional data on traumatic brain injury should additional data requirements be enacted by the legislature. The registry shall be used to improve the availability and delivery of prehospital and hospital trauma care services. Specific data elements of the registry shall be defined by rule by the department. To the extent possible, the department shall coordinate data collection from hospitals for the trauma registry with the health care data system authorized in chapter 70.170 RCW. Every hospital, facility, or health care provider authorized to provide level I, II, III, IV, or V trauma care services, level I, II, or III pediatric trauma care services, level I, level I-pediatric, II, or III trauma-related rehabilitative services, and prehospital trauma-related services in the state shall furnish data to the registry. All other hospitals and prehospital providers shall furnish trauma data as required by the department by rule.

     The department may respond to requests for data and other information from the registry for special studies and analysis consistent with requirements for confidentiality of patient and quality assurance records. The department may require requestors to pay any or all of the reasonable costs associated with such requests that might be approved.

     (2) In each emergency medical services and trauma care planning and service region, a regional emergency medical services and trauma care systems quality assurance program shall be established by those facilities authorized to provide levels I, II, and III trauma care services. The systems quality assurance program shall evaluate trauma care delivery, patient care outcomes, and compliance with the requirements of this chapter. The systems quality assurance program may also evaluate emergency cardiac and stroke care delivery. The emergency medical services medical program director and all other health care providers and facilities who provide trauma and emergency cardiac and stroke care services within the region shall be invited to participate in the regional emergency medical services and trauma care quality assurance program.

     (3) Data elements related to the identification of individual patient's, provider's and facility's care outcomes shall be confidential, shall be exempt from RCW 42.56.030 through 42.56.570 and *42.17.350 through 42.17.450, and shall not be subject to discovery by subpoena or admissible as evidence.

     (4) Patient care quality assurance proceedings, records, and reports developed pursuant to this section are confidential, exempt from chapter 42.56 RCW, and are not subject to discovery by subpoena or admissible as evidence. In any civil action, except, after in camera review, pursuant to a court order which provides for the protection of sensitive information of interested parties including the department: (a) In actions arising out of the department's designation of a hospital or health care facility pursuant to RCW 70.168.070; (b) in actions arising out of the department's revocation or suspension of designation status of a hospital or health care facility under RCW 70.168.070; or (c) in actions arising out of the restriction or revocation of the clinical or staff privileges of a health care provider as defined in RCW 7.70.020 (1) and (2), subject to any further restrictions on disclosure in RCW 4.24.250 that may apply. Information that identifies individual patients shall not be publicly disclosed without the patient's consent.

[2010 c 52 § 5; 2005 c 274 § 344; 1990 c 269 § 11.]

Notes:

     *Reviser's note: RCW 42.17.350 through 42.17.450 were recodified and repealed by chapter 204, Laws of 2010.

     Findings -- Intent -- 2010 c 52: See note following RCW 70.168.015.

     Part headings not law -- Effective date--2005 c 274: See RCW 42.56.901 and 42.56.902.




70.168.100
Regional emergency medical services and trauma care councils.

Regional emergency medical services and trauma care councils are established. The councils shall:

     (1) By June 1990, begin the development of regional emergency medical services and trauma care plans to:

     (a) Assess and analyze regional emergency medical services and trauma care needs;

     (b) Identify personnel, agencies, facilities, equipment, training, and education to meet regional and local needs;

     (c) Identify specific activities necessary to meet statewide standards and patient care outcomes and develop a plan of implementation for regional compliance;

     (d) Establish and review agreements with regional providers necessary to meet state standards;

     (e) Establish agreements with providers outside the region to facilitate patient transfer;

     (f) Include a regional budget;

     (g) Establish the number and level of facilities to be designated which are consistent with state standards and based upon availability of resources and the distribution of trauma within the region;

     (h) Identify the need for and recommend distribution and level of care of prehospital services to assure adequate availability and avoid inefficient duplication and lack of coordination of prehospital services within the region; and

     (i) Include other specific elements defined by the department;

     (2) By June 1991, begin the submission of the regional emergency services and trauma care plan to the department;

     (3) Advise the department on matters relating to the delivery of emergency medical services and trauma care within the region;

     (4) Provide data required by the department to assess the effectiveness of the emergency medical services and trauma care system;

     (5) May apply for, receive, and accept gifts and other payments, including property and service, from any governmental or other public or private entity or person, and may make arrangements as to the use of these receipts, including any activities related to the design, maintenance, or enhancements of the emergency medical services and trauma care system in the region. The councils shall report in the regional budget the amount, source, and purpose of all gifts and payments.

[1990 c 269 § 13.]




70.168.110
Planning and service regions.

The department shall designate at least eight emergency medical services and trauma care planning and service regions so that all parts of the state are within such an area. These regional designations are to be made on the basis of efficiency of delivery of needed emergency medical services and trauma care.

[1990 c 269 § 14; 1987 c 214 § 4; 1973 1st ex.s. c 208 § 6. Formerly RCW 18.73.060.]




70.168.120
Local and regional emergency medical services and trauma care councils — Power and duties.

(1) A county or group of counties may create a local emergency medical services and trauma care council composed of representatives of hospital and prehospital trauma care and emergency medical services providers, local elected officials, consumers, local law enforcement officials, and local government agencies involved in the delivery of emergency medical services and trauma care.

     (2) The department shall establish regional emergency medical services and trauma care councils and shall appoint members to be comprised of a balance of hospital and prehospital trauma care and emergency medical services providers, local elected officials, consumers, local law enforcement representatives, and local government agencies involved in the delivery of trauma care and emergency medical services recommended by the local emergency medical services and trauma care councils within the region.

     (3) Local emergency medical services and trauma care councils shall review, evaluate, and provide recommendations to the regional emergency medical services and trauma care council regarding the provision of emergency medical services and trauma care in the region, and provide recommendations to the regional emergency medical services and trauma care councils on the plan for emergency medical services and trauma care.

[1990 c 269 § 15; 1987 c 214 § 6; 1983 c 112 § 8. Formerly RCW 18.73.073.]




70.168.130
Disbursement of funds to regional emergency medical services and trauma care councils — Grants to nonprofit agencies — Purposes.

(1) The department, with the assistance of the emergency medical services and trauma care steering committee, shall adopt a program for the disbursement of funds for the development, implementation, and enhancement of the emergency medical services and trauma care system. Under the program, the department shall disburse funds to each emergency medical services and trauma care regional council, or their chosen fiscal agent or agents, which shall be city or county governments, stipulating the purpose for which the funds shall be expended. The regional emergency medical services and trauma care council shall use such funds to make available matching grants in an amount not to exceed fifty percent of the cost of the proposal for which the grant is made; provided, the department may waive or modify the matching requirement if it determines insufficient local funding exists and the public health and safety would be jeopardized if the proposal were not funded. Grants shall be made to any public or private nonprofit agency which, in the judgment of the regional emergency medical services and trauma care council, will best fulfill the purpose of the grant.

     (2) Grants may be awarded for any of the following purposes:

     (a) Establishment and initial development of an emergency medical services and trauma care system;

     (b) Expansion and improvement of an emergency medical services and trauma care system;

     (c) Purchase of equipment for the operation of an emergency medical services and trauma care system;

     (d) Training and continuing education of emergency medical and trauma care personnel; and

     (e) Department approved research and development activities pertaining to emergency medical services and trauma care.

     (3) Any emergency medical services agency or trauma care provider which receives a grant shall stipulate that it will:

     (a) Operate in accordance with applicable provisions and standards required under this chapter;

     (b) Provide, without prior inquiry as to ability to pay, emergency medical and trauma care to all patients requiring such care; and

     (c) Be consistent with applicable provisions of the regional emergency medical services and trauma care plan and the statewide emergency medical services and trauma care system plan.

[1990 c 269 § 16; 1987 c 214 § 8; 1979 ex.s. c 261 § 8. Formerly RCW 18.73.085.]




70.168.135
Grant program for designated trauma care services — Rules.

The department shall establish by rule a grant program for designated trauma care services. The grants shall be made from the emergency medical services and trauma care system trust account and shall require regional matching funds. The trust account funds and regional match shall be in a seventy-five to twenty-five percent ratio.

[1997 c 331 § 1.]

Notes:

     Effective date -- 1997 c 331: "Sections 1 through 8 of this act take effect January 1, 1998." [1997 c 331 § 11.]




70.168.140
Prehospital provider liability.

(1) No act or omission of any prehospital provider done or omitted in good faith while rendering emergency medical services in accordance with the approved regional plan shall impose any liability upon that provider.

     (2) This section does not apply to the commission or omission of an act which is not within the field of the medical expertise of the provider.

     (3) This section does not relieve a provider of any duty otherwise imposed by law.

     (4) This section does not apply to any act or omission which constitutes gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.

     (5) This section applies in addition to provisions already established in RCW
18.71.210.

[1990 c 269 § 26.]




70.168.150
Emergency cardiac and stroke care system — Voluntary hospital participation.

(1) By January 1, 2011, the department shall endeavor to enhance and support an emergency cardiac and stroke care system through:

     (a) Encouraging hospitals to voluntarily self-identify cardiac and stroke capabilities, indicating which level of cardiac and stroke service the facility provides. Hospital levels must be defined by the previous work of the emergency cardiac and stroke technical advisory committee and must follow the guiding principles and recommendations of the emergency cardiac and stroke work group report;

     (b) Giving a hospital "deemed status" and designating it as a primary stroke center if it has received a certification of distinction for primary stroke centers issued by the nonprofit organization known as the joint commission. When available, a hospital shall demonstrate its cardiac or stroke level through external, national certifying organizations, including, but not limited to, primary stroke center certification by the joint commission; and

     (c) Within the current authority of the department, adopting cardiac and stroke prehospital patient care protocols, patient care procedures, and triage tools, consistent with the guiding principles and recommendations of the emergency cardiac and stroke work group report.

     (2) A hospital that voluntarily participates in the system:

     (a) Shall participate in internal, as well as regional, quality improvement activities;

     (b) Shall participate in a national, state, or local data collection system that measures cardiac and stroke system performance from patient onset of symptoms to treatment or intervention, and includes, at a minimum, the nationally recognized consensus measures for stroke; and

     (c) May advertise participation in the system, but may not claim a verified certification level unless verified by an external, nationally recognized, evidence-based certifying body as provided in subsection (1)(b) of this section.

[2010 c 52 § 3.]

Notes:

     Findings -- Intent -- 2010 c 52: See note following RCW 70.168.015.




70.168.160
Report to the legislature.

By December 1, 2012, the department shall share with the legislature the department's report, which was funded by the centers for disease control and prevention, concerning emergency cardiac and stroke care.

[2010 c 52 § 4.]

Notes:

     Findings -- Intent -- 2010 c 52: See note following RCW 70.168.015.




70.168.900
Short title.

This chapter shall be known and cited as the "statewide emergency medical services and trauma care system act."

[1990 c 269 § 2.]




70.168.901
Severability — 1990 c 269.

If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.

[1990 c 269 § 30.]