UHMS Clinical Hyperbaric Facility Accreditation Program
1. Am I qualified?
Each applicant is evaluated based upon his or her training and hyperbaric medicine-specific experience. Physicians must have completed an approved 40-hour introductory course in hyperbaric medicine and have at least three years experience in the practice of hyperbaric medicine. It is highly desirable for a physician to be boarded in Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine, but this is not a requirement. Nurses and allied healthcare providers must also have completed an approved 40-hour introductory course and have at least three years experience. Hyperbaric nurses and allied healthcare providers must be board certified by either the BNA (ACHRN or higher) or the NBDHMT (CHT). It is highly desirable for the CHT surveyor to have completed hyperbaric Safety Director training.
2. What is the application process?
Interested individuals should submit a letter of interest; a letter of recommendation from their immediate supervisor or Medical Director; copy of 40-hour course completion certificate; curriculum vitae; and, a copy of certificate of board certification as appropriate. All documents should be sent to Tom Workman, Director, Quality Assurance & Regulatory Affairs, UHMS Satellite Office, 18111 Copper Ridge Drive, San Antonio, TX 78259. There is no application deadline.
3. Will I need special training to become a surveyor?
Yes. Selected applicants must attend a one-day training course designed to better understand the importance of accreditation, learn how the program is structured, logistics of the survey process, etc. Unfortunately, participation in this training must be funded by the prospective surveyor. Surveyors will be notified of the time and location of training and are encouraged to attend the session that best suits their need. From time to time, refresher training will be offered at the annual UHMS scientific meeting. All surveyors are strongly encouraged to attend.
4. What does it cost to be a surveyor?
Mostly, it costs only your time and commitment to the program. Besides the out of pocket cost to attend initial training, your participation should not be a direct financial cost to you. All of a surveyors reasonable travel expenses to be on a survey are reimbursed by the Society. Unfortunately, initial expenses such as airfare, etc., must be covered by the surveyor but will be reimbursed once all of the survey expenses for the team or final. Reimbursements are generally processed within 30 days of survey completion. Additionally, physicians receive a $350 honorarium for each survey. Nurses and allied healthcare providers receive $250. While modest, it does help offset your time away from your primary job.
5. How many surveys per year will I be required to conduct?
Whereas it is not always possible, surveyors are expected to conduct at least one survey a year to maintain currency. Some surveyors have greater flexibility and can participant more frequently. The bottom line is that frequency is really left up to the individual surveyor.
6. How are surveyor assignments managed?
The survey schedule is published twice yearly (Q1Q2 and Q3Q4). The schedules are sent to the surveyor pool three to four months in advance of the upcoming six-month cycle. Survey dates, locations, etc. are listed on the schedule. Each surveyor indicates if he or she can or cannot be available for a specific survey. It is important to understand that indication of availability does not mean that you will be automatically scheduled for that specific survey. Once all surveyors have responded with their availability, then team assignments are made based upon individual currency, location, multiplace/monoplace experience, etc.
7. Who makes up the survey team?
Survey teams are composed of a physician, nurse and allied healthcare provider.
8. When are surveys usually scheduled?
Most surveys will be conducted on Monday and Tuesday. If surveys are scheduled mid-week, it is difficult to find physicians who can take that much time out of clinic. The initial travel day is Sunday with the survey being conducted on Monday and Tuesday. In some instances if a surveyor cannot arrange for a return flight on Tuesday evening, an additional night might be required. In situations where a survey is scheduled other than on a Monday/Tuesday combination, assignments are made by personal contact by QARA.
9. Do I make my own travel arrangements?
Yes. Each team will be provided the location of the airport most convenient to the survey site and recommended hotel. Unless circumstances are unusual, only one rental car per team is authorized.
10. What happens if there is a schedule change at the last minute after I have already purchased my plane tickets, etc.?
If a short-notice change is made by the facility being surveyed, that facility will be invoiced for your out of pocket expenses. If the change is directed by the UHMS, then the Society will reimburse your costs. Situations where there might be a family emergency or sudden illness are dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
11. Should I be concerned over confidentiality and conflict of interest?
Respecting the confidentiality of the survey process is an unwavering tenet of the program. Each surveyor will be required to sign a confidentiality/conflict of interest agreement. Any surveyor not willing to attest to this pledge will not be activated. Any breach of this trust is grounds for immediate surveyor termination.
12. Do I have to have my own laptop computer, digital camera, etc., to be a surveyor?
It helps. However, the Society does maintain a small stock of laptop computers and a digital camera that can be shipped to an individual surveyor as needed.