“A RAC is an organized group of health care entities and concerned citizens who share an interest in improving and organizing EMS/Trauma care within a specific Trauma Service Area. RAC membership shall include hospitals, EMS providers, first responder organizations, physicians, nurses, EMS personnel, rehabilitation facilities, as well as concerned citizens and community groups.”
“The Piney Woods Regional Advisory Council – Trauma Service Area G (RAC-G) operates as a not-for-profit entity to serve as a link between area hospitals, pre hospital providers and local, state and federal agencies in matters of trauma, healthcare and disaster preparedness and response.”
Trauma Service Area-G (TSA-G) extends from the prairies of the Blackland Belt in its westernmost region to the heavily wooded eastern Pine Belt area at its eastern border. The region is a 19-county, 13,609.2 square-mile area of East Texas spanning three different natural geographic regions. A larger percentage of TSA-G lies within the Pine Belt of eastern Texas. This area includes the counties of Marion, Harrison, Panola, Rusk, Shelby, Trinity, Gregg, Upshur, Cherokee, Freestone, Houston and the eastern portions of Anderson, Henderson, Smith, Wood and Camp counties. The western portions of the latter five counties are in the Post Oak Belt, a transitional region between the highly forested Pine Belt and the Blackland Belt.
RAC-G is here to serve our East Texas region in the following areas:
- Representation at the State Rule-making Process
- State compliance for hospital designation/re-designation process
- Letters of Support for our regional hospitals to the Texas Department of State Health Services/Health and Human Services/EMS/Trauma Departments for designation/re-designation application, as well as Neonatal designation.
- Develop and maintain the Regional System Trauma Plan (Trauma/EMS/Acute Care/Hospital Plan, known to us as the TEACH PLAN).
- Hospital Preparedness Program: Projects including exercises, hospital equipment reimbursements, evacuation plans, Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP), infectious disease awareness, training and preparedness activities
- Opportunities to participate in regional exercises across multiple-hospitals and EMS systems, state and local law enforcement and emergency management jurisdictions
- Trauma Data Reporting and Bed Status Reporting to the State
- Stroke and STEMI Registry development, collection and reporting
- Assisting in funding and coordination of Cardiovascular Disease, Stroke, Trauma, SANE and Traumatic Brain Injury Summit, and an annual public resource recognition day in honor of our hospitals/emergency medical/law enforcement personnel
- Coordination of disaster resources through Emergency Medical Task Force-Region 4, both within our region and for state deployment
- Offering Educational Opportunities both Clinical and Public with CEUs available
- Injury Prevention Programs
- Providing regional equipment and training opportunities upon requests and approval
- Mass Communication Systems such as Everbridge, EMResource, WebEOC, Staffing Notifications, Disaster Alerts
Trauma and Emergency Healthcare System of Care
RACs play a key role in promoting a "system" of care that builds upon a network of designated trauma hospitals and a network of EMS agencies. The agencies rely on best practices to asses and stabilize each patient, and to select and communicate with the most appropriate designated trauma hospital. The "system" of care and ongoing training enables the traumatic injury mortality rate, in Texas, to maintain or remain below the national average.
STROKE Emergency Care and Public Education
RACs bring value to their regions through public education and statistical data tracking that helps identify new medical care opportunities. For instance, multiple RACs are now tracking the timely administration of clot busting drug "tPA". By ensuring its administration within published treatment time guidelines, the majority of strokes, called "ischemic strokes," can be treated and costs minimized.
Cardiac Emergency Care and Public Education
EMS agencies and hospitals in every RAC are examining ways to shave minutes off normal treatment processes. For patients with a blockage, EMS and hospital teams work together in advance of patients arriving at hospitals in order for heart catheterizations to occur in 90 minutes or less. In fact, RACs support DSHS actions to collect statewide data to improve performance in urban, suburban and rural settings.
Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response
RACs lead the medical component of preparedness planning and response utilizing federal Hospital Preparedness Program funding through DSHS. Among other duties, RACs are relied upon to asses the availability of beds in each hospital, to ensure that resources are wisely allocated, and to conduct training and joint exercises of all stakeholders as a team. RACs ensure strong partnerships among jurisdictions and other agencies. RACs have also united and developed the Emergency Medical Task Force program to enable statewide mutual aid and to benefit from economies of scale when a disaster happens.