By Christopher Menschner and Alexandra Maul, Center for Health Care Strategies
Because of the potentially long-lasting negative impact of trauma on physical and mental health, ways to address patients’ history of trauma are drawing the attention of health care policymakers and providers across the country. Patients who have experienced trauma can benefit from emerging best practices in trauma-informed care. These practices involve both organizational and clinical changes that have the potential to improve patient engagement, health outcomes, and provider and staff wellness, and decrease unnecessary utilization. This brief draws on interviews with national experts on trauma-informed care to create a framework for organizational and clinical changes that can be practically implemented across the health care sector to address trauma. It also highlights payment, policy, and educational opportunities to acknowledge trauma’s impact.