Trauma Informed Care Resources

Though the experience of personal trauma over a lifetime is almost ubiquitous, the possibility that trauma might be an important clinical issue to identify hasn’t been a routine part of my initial patient assessment.  I’ve seldom seen it in the work of my colleagues at an acute hospital or SNF level. 

As of November 1, the CMS Phase 3 regulations expect us expect us to provide Trauma Informed Care (TIC).  CMS has provided a definition that stresses we are to account for a resident’s experiences and preferences in order to eliminate or mitigate triggers that may cause re-traumatization of the resident.  However, guidance on how we are to do this has been lacking.  

In the October Caring for the Ages, Joanne Kaldy interviewed experts in this area of medicine and wrote a helpful article titled, “Putting Together the Pieces of a Trauma Informed Care Puzzle”.  This article can be reviewed at:

One of those experts, Nancy Kussmaul, was interviewed in the November AMDA-on-the-Go Podcast on this subject.  This is a free service of AMDA, the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine and is available at:  One of the features of this service available at this web address is a series of resources on this subject available by hyperlink.  This topic has 8 links and also a recommendation to visit the site for tips and other resources on this subject.  

For me, the most important pearl I gained was the importance of our teams developing trusting relationships with our residents that may allow them to begin revealing past experiences that should affect our care plans.  

Joanne’s article and the podcast both stressed that we should focus on changing the culture of our facilities to a “Trauma Informed Culture”, rather than a task-oriented approach that appears to address this regulation, but likely only sees the “tip of the iceberg” of prior trauma.  

Hopefully, we will see best practices in this area at our 2020 CALTCM Summit.  Please go to our web site for more details on our Best Practices  Program (Best Practice program includes mentorship for submission process and selected Top 5 Best Practices.)

CALTCM members can view this presentation and the entire Fall Summit program syllabus (and many other syllabi) on the CALTCM Member page (must be logged in to view).

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