Bringing Expert Trauma and Surgery Care to Geauga County

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Christopher Bohac, MD, FACS, a recent “Dinner with the Doc” winner, has authored 14 Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) and five policies that are used across the UH system as best practice

UH Clinical Update | June 2021

Christopher Bohac knew exactly what he wanted to be in grade school – a doctor, and more specifically, a surgeon.

Christopher Bohac, MDChristopher Bohac, MD

That was validated when he did his residency at UH Cleveland Medical Center, after getting his medical degree from the University of Illinois School of Medicine. “I realized I liked the variety of general surgery, and I decided to stay in that,” he says.

And he certainly has variety as the UH Geauga Medical Center’s Chair of Surgery and Trauma Medical Director.

Part of what he finds compelling is not knowing what kind of surgery he might be called on to perform when trauma cases come in to the Emergency Department. Since Geauga County is rural and has many two-lane roads lined by ditches, on which people tend to speed, that often means treating victims of auto accidents. Emergency trauma care in a rural county also means treating patients who have been injured by farm machinery.

But as in nearly all Emergency Departments, older patients who are injured in falls and suffer broken hips or head injuries are the most common type of trauma.

“Someone who falls when they’re in their 40s gets a bruise, but someone who is elderly might fall and hit their head, and they may be on blood thinners,” Dr. Bohac says. “They also have weakened blood vessels and bones; they might have a head injury, or break their hip or pelvis. You also see a lot of skin tears, which would not be a major issue for younger people.”

Working in the ED means he can be no more than 30 minutes away from the hospital when he is on call every fourth day/night. He also performs elective surgeries there.

Recently, Dr. Bohac was one of seven physicians at UH recognized by the “Cliff Appreciates” award, a new initiative designed to celebrate outstanding contributions by physician caregivers. The physicians were selected through a nomination process because they have Advanced Systemness or demonstrated a Commitment to Value.

Dr. Bohac was nominated by Marlea Miano, MD, Chief Medical Officer at UH Geauga Medical Center.

The nomination cited his developing a trauma documentation template; authoring 14 Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPGs) and five policies that are used across the system as best practice; and working closely with the Trauma Coordinator to assist with outreach events. Additionally, Dr. Bohac’s commitment to the trauma program was demonstrated through consistently quick reviews of trauma charts. Collectively, his efforts aided in reverification visits by the American College of Surgeons, with no deficiencies.

“That was a very pleasant surprise,” he said, when he got the letter noting his selection for the UH honor. “I’m obviously proud and happy and humbled.”

In addition to creating the 14 CPGs, all related to trauma, Dr. Bohac also developed a trauma documentation template. Every trauma center is required to update and add these guidelines, which are reviewed by the American College of Surgeons.

One of his five policies now used across the system as a best practice relates to preventing deep vein thrombosis, or DVTs, which are a major issue for trauma patients because of the inflammatory state that results from their injuries and the trauma itself. To prevent DVTs, the guideline prescribes sequential compression devices, blood thinners and early ambulation.

“A lot of what I do now is not just trauma but I’m also on the hospital quality committee and a newly-formed committee on surgical safety,” Dr. Bohac says. “There are five of us who review more cases to capture more quality issues – it’s all-encompassing, and part of our multiple quality standards and initiatives.”

As for his work as a trauma surgeon, the most satisfying aspect continues to be this: “Someone can show up with what could be a devastating injury and I fix it and they’ll get to go home.”

Congratulations to Dr. Bohac on his “Dinner with the Doc” award!

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