In 2014, the American College of Surgeons Trauma Quality Improvement Program (ACS TQIP) expanded its reach from individual trauma centers to trauma systems, or collaboratives. ACS TQIP began offering Level I and II trauma centers participating in a collaborative the opportunity to benchmark risk-adjusted outcomes at the state, regional, or hospital-group level. Since the program’s inception, 12 states, regions, and hospital-groups have formed collaboratives, with Michigan and Georgia leading the way.
To help new collaboratives get started, leaders from two mature ACS TQIP Collaboratives—Mark Hemmila, MD, FACS, Michigan Collaborative, and Christopher Dente, MD, FACS, Georgia Collaborative—are compiling their “lessons learned” into a comprehensive toolkit. The toolkit, created by the ACS TQIP Collaboratives Workgroup, will serve as a resource to assist leaders in addressing potential challenges and serve as a road map for collaborative development. The toolkit will cover a wide range of topics, including: getting started, leadership and engagement, infrastructure, funding, performance improvement project selection, data management, and sustaining momentum. Release of this new resource is planned for November 2017.
Although trauma system leaders recognize the value of system-level performance improvement initiatives, taking the initial steps to start a collaborative can be difficult. Due to the inherent heterogeneity of trauma systems with respect to structure, funding, geography, and culture, the starting point for collaborative development may differ from group to group.
In addition to challenges involving initiation, more mature collaboratives often face obstacles in maintaining their early momentum. The ACS TQIP Collaboratives Workgroup anticipates that the new toolkit will help collaboratives address these issues.