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 Any facility whose designation has been revoked or suspended may request a hearing to review the action by the department as provided for in chapter 34.05 RCW.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.]