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Polytrauma/TBI System of Care

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TBI Screening

Beginning in 2007, VA implemented mandatory Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) screening for all Veterans accessing care in VA that served in combat operations and separated from active duty service after September 11, 2001. The four question screen identifies Veterans who were exposed to events that increase the risk of TBI and who experience symptoms that may be related to that specific event or events.

A positive screen does not diagnose TBI. It only indicates the need for further evaluation for possible TBI.   Veterans who screen positive with the TBI screening tool are offered a Comprehensive TBI Evaluation with a specialty provider who can determine whether the Veteran has suffered a TBI.

Depending on the needs of the Veteran, other members of the rehabilitation team such as social worker, physical and occupational therapists, speech-language pathologist, psychologist, and others may be involved in the comprehensive evaluation to help determine whether the Veteran has difficulties that may be helped with rehabilitation treatments.  

The results of the comprehensive evaluations are discussed with the Veteran and recommendations are made for follow-on care with primary care and other specialty providers, as necessary.  If rehabilitation treatments are indicated, the Veteran is asked to collaborate with the rehabilitation team to develop a Plan of Care that addresses his or her recovery goals.  The Plan of Care will include information about the types of treatment recommended, their frequency, and the timeline for when the rehabilitation goals are expected to be achieved.