As the connection between exposure to trauma and long-term health conditions becomes clear, the health care sector is beginning to focus on how to best care for patients with a history of trauma. For many people, trauma may increase their risk of serious health issues leading to poor health outcomes and higher medical and social service costs.

Health care providers can address patients’ traumatic experiences and their associated health effects by implementing trauma-informed approaches to care. Changing organizational culture and clinical practice to reflect trauma-informed principles has the potential to improve patient engagement, treatment adherence, health outcomes, and provider and staff wellness. This brief outlines a practical implementation framework and policy considerations for instituting trauma-informed approaches to care in health care settings.

This brief was produced as part of Advancing Trauma-Informed Care, a national initiative supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and led by the Center for Health Care Strategies to better understand how to implement trauma-informed approaches to health care delivery. Look for more practical implementation resources for implementing trauma-informed care in the future.