This post was written by Royce Brunson, VP of CipherHealth.
Trauma departments and their staff are there for patients and communities when we need them most. Often, the cases that come through their doors are the most severe, requiring a team of medical experts acting quickly to save lives.
The physical recovery of such injuries are usually just the start of most patients’ recovery. In fact, the physiological impact of the events that bring patients to trauma departments have lasting effects well beyond the four walls of a hospital. Recent studies have uncovered that up to 56% of injured patients admitted through a trauma service experience depression. In addition, up to 38% of injured patients are depressed within six months with similar rates of depression observed one year after injury.
New ACS Recommendations:
As a result, the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the verifying agency of Trauma Centers, is recommending that all trauma patients are screened for depression and PTSD using the PHQ-9 questionnaire. Through a patient’s answers, care providers can determine if a depressive disorder is present, thereby allowing them to begin immediate treatment and care team coordination.
Although many Trauma Centers want to implement the screenings quickly and efficiently, facilities are running into resource allocation problems. How does an already maxed out team administer a questionnaire when there are dozens of other mission critical tasks vying for their time? To tackle this issue, many hospitals have turned to CipherHealth and our post-discharge follow up solution, Voice. With Voice, patients complete post-discharge follow up through telephone or texting programs, allowing teams to focus on currently admitted patients that require the most attention. Teams can also rest assured that all patients will receive any necessary follow up.
How CipherHealth is Helping:
Hospitals already using Voice to follow up with Trauma patients place two calls to their patients. The first outreach, 48hrs post-discharge, will ensure a patient’s basic recovery steps (follow up appointments, rehab, discharge instructions, etc.) are fulfilled. The second outreach, 5 days post-discharge, will walk patients through the PHQ-9 questionnaire. If on either outreach a patient indicates the need for assistance, the correct care team members are alerted for immediate intervention. Teams know who needs help and why before even picking up the phone, saving tremendous time on the front lines of care.
Finding time for your team to do just another thing is never easy, but Voice truly provides a measurable difference in outcomes. Contact us today to see how Voice can help your facility excel by keeping Trauma patients on the right path to recovery.