UChicago Medicine teams report readiness for May 1 launch of trauma services

Faculty and staff from more than 20 departments and work streams came together earlier in March to report on their readiness ahead of the launch of adult trauma care on May 1, 2018. These updates addressed readiness in clinical areas, as well as for information technology, finance, legal, facilities, supply chain, social services, specialty services, operational excellence, and many other units.

“There has been a tremendous amount of work and collaboration across the medical campus,” said Debra Albert, MSN, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services, and Chief Nursing Officer. “All teams that presented said preparations in their areas were on track, with the common theme being, ‘We will be ready.’”

Preparation for adult trauma services has given UChicago Medicine the opportunity to improve processes across the system and build upon protocols. For example, the blood bank needed to find a way to deliver large quantities of blood very rapidly. The team developed a runner-based system that not only is more effective, reliable and very efficient, but also helps to maintain the integrity of blood products.

In addition, orthopaedics, infectious diseases, and the pharmacy have developed antimicrobial preventative treatments for open-fracture trauma.

Also, as part of ongoing workplace-safety initiatives, Public Safety will be enhancing security throughout the medical campus, including a new visitor management system that involves guest check-in and wearable badges.

Across all departments, instruction and training have played a prominent role as UChicago Medicine ramps up trauma-service activation. The emergency medicine and trauma surgery teams have been simulating patient care in the resuscitation bays twice a week, often involving other units such as respiratory care services. Simulations will be held in other areas, including the Center for Care and Discovery’s operating rooms, pharmacy, obstetrics and gynecology, perioperative services and in-patient units.

Meanwhile, UChicago Medicine has been collaborating with external partners, including Region 11 trauma directors and providers, and regional Emergency Medical Services. For example, therapy services is working with Mount Sinai Hospital staff to learn more about providing acute care to patients with traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries.

Preparations are also ongoing for the adult trauma program, which will include violence recovery and wraparound services designed to help trauma patients successfully transition back into the community. To help support these services, UChicago Medicine is working to partner with community-based organizations for outpatient psychiatric, behavioral health and social-recovery care.

The University of Chicago Medicine’s application to be a designated Level 1 adult trauma center has been submitted to the Illinois Department of Public Health; a response is expected by mid-April.