March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. This annual month-long event is sponsored by the Brain Injury Association of America to bring more attention to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), while promoting effective strategies for prevention and treatment. Paradigm is firmly committed to this mission and supports advancements in TBI care so we can continue to achieve positive outcomes and bring value to our clients.
TBIs are caused by an impact, force, or penetrating injury to the head, and they affect millions of people in the United States each year, according to the CDC. Workplace injuries are a leading cause of TBIs and are among the most traumatic types of job-related injuries.
In addition to Paradigm managing and coordinating TBI care for individuals, we have clinical partnerships with the nation’s leading research institutions including initiatives in this area of study. These relationships help Paradigm gain access to the latest advances in the field, while simultaneously allowing us to contribute our own knowledge, data, and expertise. Paradigm’s Chief Medical Officer, Michael Choo, MD, MBA, plays an active and integral role in strengthening partnerships with three leading organizations in TBI research. In honor of Brain Injury Awareness Month, here’s an update on how these organizations have made progress over the past few months.
1. Improving outcomes in brain injury rehabilitation with the University of Washington School of Medicine
Currently, the University of Washington School of Medicine, in partnership with other institutions across the country, is leading a study on BRITE, or Brain Injury Rehabilitation: Improving the Transition Experience. The principal investigators of the study are Jeanne Hoffman, PhD and Jesse Fann, MD. Dr. Choo serves as an advisory member of the professional stakeholder group charged with furthering BRITE’s strategic goals.
The BRITE initiative is supported by Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), a government-sponsored organization created by the Affordable Care Act in 2010. BRITE recently applied for a new grant through PCORI. By comparing the effectiveness of enhanced transitional case management with standard discharge planning, BRITE’s primary objective is to identify interventions that improve the potential outcomes for TBI patients.
Recently, the University of Washington published, in the journal Contemporary Clinical Trials, its research on “Improving transition from inpatient rehabilitation following traumatic brain injury: Protocol for the BRITE pragmatic comparative effectiveness trial.”
2. Supporting the Foundation to Advance Brain Rehabilitation to amplify access to better insights into post-acute brain injury rehabilitation
FABR, the Foundation to Advance Brain Rehabilitation, is a nonprofit research group formed by leading organizations in the field committed to increasing access to brain injury rehabilitation through analysis of industry-wide data. Dr. Choo works regularly with FABR as a medical consultative partner. In this capacity, he lends his extensive expertise in coordinating treatment for work-related TBI to the group to further FABR’s objective of identifying the biggest problems in brain injury treatment and improving care delivery.
The FABR model is built on a three-pronged approach to developing solutions in the field of brain injury research and analytics. It includes creating a secure data collection plan, analyzing it to identify key trends, and using those findings to advocate for increased access to care.
FABR recently published “Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic Among Posthospital Brain Injury Rehabilitation Providers.” This paper looks at how these centers implemented environmental changes and telehealth services to prioritize the safety of patients and staff.
3. Collaborating with the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine to improve clinical guidelines for TBI treatment
Paradigm and Dr. Choo also work closely with the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM) to co-fund, develop, and distribute high-quality clinical guidelines and systematic reviews for rehabilitative medicine, including TBI. Dr. Choo is currently the chair for the ACRM Dissemination & Policy Committee.
In this capacity, he supported the March publication of “Recovery of Consciousness and Functional Outcome in Moderate and Severe Traumatic Brain Injury” in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Neurology on outcomes for severe TBI. Authored by Robert G. Kowalski, MBBCh, MS; Flora M. Hammond, MD; and Alan H. Weintraub, MD, the paper strongly cautions against withdrawing and withholding care before allowing for rehabilitation and recovery. This is because a vast majority of patients with TBI who lose consciousness during acute care eventually recover consciousness during rehabilitation, underscoring the critical need for post-acute TBI care.
Raising awareness for brain injury prevention and treatment
The current campaign for Brain Injury Awareness Month, running from 2021 to 2023, is “More Than My Brain Injury.” All month, participants are invited to use #MoreThanMyBrainInjury and share stories to educate others on life with a traumatic brain injury. Paradigm will be raising awareness on our social media channels. Support us by liking and sharing our posts.
Learn more about Paradigm’s clinical collaborations across the full spectrum of our clinical subspecialties.