In the late 1970s, there were fewer than 30 hyperbaric facilities operational in the United States. Most were either military, commercial or highly specialized research facilities. Today an estimated 1,350-plus facilities are in operation. Growth means change. We have seen the primary role of hyperbaric facilities transition from the treatment of diving-related disorders to providing essential primary and adjunctive treatments for multiple medical conditions. Refined research efforts will no doubt validate the continued effectiveness of HBO2 therapy, and perhaps even support new indications for treatment.
In 2001 the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society took on the role of establishing a systematic means of quality assurance for hyperbaric facilities. It continues in this stewardship role with the publication of the UHMS Clinical Hyperbaric Facility Accreditation Manual, Fourth Edition, to help address these challenges of hyperbaric medicine in the 21st century.
4TH EDITION OF THE HYPERBARIC FACILITY ACCREDITATION MANUAL IS NOW AVAILABLE
Download it for free at: www.uhms.org/images/Accreditation-Documents/Fourth_Edition_UHMS_Accreditation_Manual_Final.pdf
UHMS Hyperbaric Facility Accreditation (HFA) goals
Clinical hyperbaric facilities are:
staffed with the proper specialists who are well trained;
using quality equipment that has been correctly installed and maintained, and is being operated with the highest level of safety possible;
providing high-quality patient care;
maintaining the appropriate documentation of informed consent, patient treatment procedures, physician involvement, and other necessary paperwork.
Facility locations are changing.
From hospital-based centers to non-affiliated outpatient settings, some operations have appropriate medical supervision and others do not. Such gaps demand
a formalized set of guidelines for operations.
Certification has become a must.
In the past, minimum recommended staffing/train- ing standards did not exist. Now, they are an essential part of guidelines and recommended practices. Over the past decade, certification in hyperbaric technology and hyperbaric nursing has become a staffing require- ment in many programs.
The Guidelines for Hyperbaric Facility Operations, Second Edition, first set these foundational standards of practice for hyperbaric medicine nearly two decades ago. Originally published in January 2000 as the UHMS Operations Committee Report, this was the Society’s first written guide related to training, responsibility, staffing, safety and quality assurance for hyperbaric facilities – and it laid groundwork for the UHMS accreditation program. The latest update is at:
Challenges lie ahead.
The development of certification for physicians in Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine reflects a growing recognition of clinical hyperbaric medicine. It also reinforces the need for an institutional accreditation program for facilities like the UHMS Hyperbaric Facility Accreditation Program.
As in any growth process, success has not come without bumps. Our speciality faces challenges now and in the future. Since the UHMS represents a broad constituency base for clinical hyperbaric medicine,
the Society remains proactive in helping to ensure that quality is maintained within our specialty.
The work continues.
Download your accreditation manual.* Have your guidelines book on hand. Schedule your facility for an accreditation survey at:
Make sure you’re part of the push: Demonstrate your commitment to patient care and facility safety through UHMS accreditation.
* note: The manual becomes active in August 2018 with the launch of its new partner database FileMaker Pro.
This article originally appeared in Pressure UHMS Membership Newsletter, 2018 Second Quarter Edition. Republished here with permission. Read the full newsletter here https://www.uhms.org/publications/pressure/second-quarter-pressure-2018/viewdocument.html
Does your staff need basic training in hyperbaric medicine?
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