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70.168.010  <<  70.168.015 >>   70.168.020

RCW 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.]