Highlighting the Value of Trauma Care
Trauma centers provide immediate specialized staff, equipment, and services to treat the most severe and critical injuries. People must have access to these facilities because of the critical golden hour.
Despite the importance of this care, trauma centers must constantly fight to protect state and federal funding, restore budget cuts, or retain and recruit trauma specialists.
The “value” proposition for trauma care is well documented. However, additional fiscal and regulatory pressures and challenges can sometimes overshadow trauma center advocacy.
Because hospitals support so many different types of health care services, the broad hospital family may not fully understand everything that is involved in running a trauma center. They may not know about all the benefits a center brings to the community or organization.
HAP has coordinated and developed resources to:
- Assist trauma leaders with highlighting the value of trauma care
- Build critical relationships within and outside their organization to advance and support their care mission
Trauma centers are encouraged to review these ideas, meet with others in their organization, and work with their administration to come up with their own plan to promote the value of trauma care in their communities and the commonwealth.
HIGHLIGHTING VALUE WITHIN THE HOSPITAL WALLS
With financial challenges at every hospital, it is vital for trauma programs to demonstrate their fiscal viability and quality performance. Trauma centers can use the following tool to discuss methods to evaluate and improve their performance:
Financial Value Tool
HIGHLIGHTING VALUE BEYOND THE HOSPITAL WALLS
As important as it is to highlight the value of being a trauma center within your hospital walls, it is important to remind those in your community and throughout the commonwealth about the value trauma centers provide.
As policymakers consider legislation or regulations that impact the delivery of trauma care; or make financial decisions related to funding of trauma care at the state and national level, trauma center leaders need to highlight the value trauma centers provide to their communities and the state.
Trauma centers are encouraged to pursue the following opportunities to highlight the value of trauma care beyond the hospital walls:
Work with Your Government Relations Contacts
Connect with your
hospital or health system’s government relations officer (GRO) to develop your specific advocacy messages. Your GRO is probably working on several advocacy issues. It is important to coordinate priorities and align your messages.
- Ask GROs to include you when they participate in HAP-sponsored lawmaker meetings
- Identify ways to engage with elected officials, such as district office visits and tours
- Ask GROs about specific advocacy events in Harrisburg and Washington where you can tell your story
Partner with Your Public Relations and Marketing Team
Trauma leaders should develop a strong relationship with their public relations and marketing team. They can support you in developing internal and external messages about the value of trauma care. They will likely have templates and samples you can use (please check with them first before using any sample forms provided below). Work with these professionals to promote trauma care information through:
Develop Community Relationships
Work with your public or community relations professionals to develop a community education plan. This will help local leaders and health care stakeholders understand the critical role you play in the community and surrounding region. By fostering these relationships, you are building local advocates who may speak out on your behalf when you need them.
- Create opportunities to provide educational information at local events
- Arrange to speak during local business or community events, such as the Rotary Club, or a chamber of commerce program
- Reach out to schools to address trauma issues that impact youth
- Identify national recognition days such as National Trauma Awareness Month or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration designated safety weeks, and plan a community event
- Work with first responders to address your role in preparing for natural or man-made catastrophic events
Access State and National Resources
Take advantage of readily available information to help you build your plan to highlight the value of trauma care: