Georgetown - Edition | June 2022



WilCo EMS, Georgetown hospital provide care to rural residents


and unexpected surges in volume that may happen during a natural disaster and for a prolonged increase in the number of patients as was experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our surge plans include the utilization of all available patient care space within our hospitals and in other settings across our health care system,” Brown said. St. David’s Georgetown Hospital maintains a basic, or Level IV, trauma facility designation by the Texas Department of State Health Services. “If a trauma patient needs care beyond the capabilities of our hospital, they can be seamlessly transferred to the Level II Trauma Center at St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center,” Brown said. In order to meet demands, St. David’s is staƒed 24/7 by a physician who is board certi‡ed in emer- gency medicine, and the hospital is equipped to assess, resuscitate and stabilize all major and severe trauma patients. “It’s widely known that multiple surges in COVID- 19 hospitalizations have put extraordinary pressure on our health care professionals, causing some to leave the health care industry,” Brown said. “... We are continually focused on retaining our talented workforce, recruiting, training and promoting our clinical teams to maintain high-quality care.”

Because St. David’s Georgetown Hospital is the only trauma facility within a 25-mile radius of Jarrell, Florence, Andice and Granger, Williamson County EMS and the hospital had to be prepared to transport and care for surges of patients coming from the northern, more rural portion of the county during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are fortunate to have su†cient resources to handle an increased call volume, especially during the pandemic,” said Mike Knipstein, director of Williamson County EMS. Knipstein said overall call volume has decreased in 2022 as case rates have declined. Williamson County EMS oƒers advanced life support to trauma patients and can quickly transport them to St. David’s Georgetown or other designated trauma facilities in the area, including in Round Rock, Knipstein said. “Our average ground transport time is 15 minutes,” Knipstein said. While Knipstein said helicopters are sometimes utilized in rural areas, ground transport often takes the same amount of time it would take for a helicop- ter to respond to the scene. St. David’s Georgetown CEO Hugh Brown said the hospital has well-de‡ned plans both for sudden











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SERVING SURROUNDING AREAS St. David’s Georgetown Hospital is the closest trauma center to several rural cities in Williamson County. Williamson County EMS Director Mike Knipstein said average ground transport time is 15 minutes. 1 Andice: 22 miles

2 Florence: 22 miles 3 Granger: 19 miles 4 Jarrell: 16 miles

St. David’s Georgetown Hospital earns recognition from Leapfrog Group

Telehealth sessions March 1, 2019-Feb. 29, 2020

TELEMEDICINE USE NATIONALLY During the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of telehealth services skyrocketed. A telehealth




March 1, 2020-Feb. 28, 2021

TOPLEVEL SERVICE St. David’s Georgetown received a Hospital Safety Grade A ranking from the Leapfrog Group. Some of the metrics used to award this rating are:

session is deˆned as a routine o‰ce visit provided via video.

The St. David’s Georgetown Hos- pital and other metro area facilities recently earned A grades from the Leapfrog Group’s Spring 2022 Hospital Safety Grades, according to a May 11 release. According to a St. David’s represen- tative, St. David’s HealthCare is the only hospital system in the Austin area to receive an A for all eligible facilities. It is also the only area health system to receive this rating for all of its facilities for each exam- ination period since the Hospital Safety Score initiative was launched in 2012. “This recognition illustrates the dedication of our physicians, nurses and staƒ to providing exceptional care to every patient, every day,” said Dr. Ken Mitchell, chief medical o†cer of St. David’s HealthCare, in the release. The Leapfrog Group is an inde- pendent nonpro‡t that assigns letter



10 million

20 million

30 million


Reducing infections

Providers turn to telehealth to treat patients

Lowering risks with surgery

The number of telehealth sessions held nationwide increased by approximately 3,000% from March 2019-March 2021 in large part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data from the Centers for Medi- care & Medicaid Services. Now, many health care provid- ers are continuing to evolve the technology. Austin Regional Clinic CEO Dr. Anas Daghestani said the organization, which has a clinic in Georgetown, has invested in its electronic medical record system and telemedicine tools to increase BY CARSON GANONG & CLAIRE SHOOP

access for patients. “I think telemedicine is here to stay, but I think telemedicine will not replace the need for being seen in-person,” Daghestani said. “What we are spending a lot of energy on is trying to make sure that the right condition is seen appropriately.” Dr. Rob Watson, chief medical o†cer for the Greater Austin Region at Baylor Scott & White Health, said the system is looking at how it can continue to adapt more services to a digital environment. He said his physicians have learned how to provide a great patient experience and high-quality care virtually.


Practices to prevent errors

Appropriate stang

grades to hospitals across the U.S. based on more than 30 performance measures, including prevention of medical errors, injuries, infections and accidents among patients in the care of these facilities. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade is peer-reviewed and available to the public. Grades are updated twice annually. SOURCE: THE LEAPFROG GROUP‰COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER



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