Physician viewpoint: Traumatic injuries should be framed as chronic conditions 

Traumatic injuries should be classified as chronic conditions to improve outcomes and recovery experiences, Juan Herrera-Escobar, MD, and Jeffrey Schneider, MD, wrote Aug. 13 in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Chronic diseases are broadly defined as conditions that last a year or more and require ongoing medical attention, limit activities of daily living or both, according to the CDC. Based on that definition, Dr. Herrera-Escobar and Dr. Schneider wrote, traumatic injuries fit the criteria.   

They also wrote that "multiple barriers" prevent those with traumatic injuries from receiving "multidisciplinary, longitudinal care," namely a lack of a standardized system to track patients.

"​​Framing traumatic injury as a chronic condition and implementing strategies supporting this approach would help the U.S. health system address the social determinants of health that affect trauma recovery, adopt patient-centered outcome measures to assess quality of care and inform clinical decisions, and reform reimbursement systems to reward value for patients," they wrote.

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