If you ever have a serious injury, doctors right here in our area have a new system to make sure you get the help you need as quickly as possible.
The state of Arkansas is rating area trauma centers for the first time, so doctors know exactly where to send patients when time is critical.
Mercy Medical in Rogers is proud of their level three rating.
The level three rating means they can treat most serious injuries.
About two years ago, Arkansas became one of the last states in the country to start certifying hospital trauma centers.
ER doctors say knowing what kind of injuries hospitals can treat will help them save time and save lives.
"When you have a patient thats been severely injured in an accident that's not the time to be getting on the phone and asking can you take this now, do you have this capability you know is your CAT scan available, is your neurosurgeon available and those types of things because really time is of the essence," Dr. Brad Johnson said.
Mercy's level three certification means they can treat all traumas, except head injuries. Those cases are sent to a level one center, like St. John's Mercy in Springfield.
"We have a streamlined approach to be getting able to get to get those patients sometimes directly from the pre-hospital environment or on the street to the facility in the first place, as opposed to taking them to the closest facility that may or not be the optimal facility," Dr. Johnson said.
With their new certification, Mercy gets nearly $200,000 in state funding that will go to training and equipment.
"It means being able to buy the equipment that we need. A $40,000 Ultrasound machine and a rapid infusion that were ordering so yeah, a lot of it's equipment," Program Coordinator Kathy Dickerson said.
Doctors say the rating could be the difference between saving or losing a life.
"Time is huge; particularly in the first hour in trauma management and it can be life or death in some patients," Dickerson said. " think this is going to save definitely minutes and hours on some patients of getting them to the right facility the right time the first time."