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From the 2024 2nd Quarter Pressure

Derall W. Garrett, CHT

Navigating the Challenges: Can Your Facility Pass UHMS Hyperbaric Facility Accreditation?

As medical institutions strive for excellence in patient care and safety, achieving accreditation from reputable organizations is paramount. For facilities offering hyperbaric medicine, accreditation from the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) signifies adherence to rigorous standards and best practices. However, the journey toward UHMS accreditation is not without its hurdles. Let's delve into some potential stumbling blocks and strategies to overcome them.

  1. Staff Training and Credentialing: One of the primary requirements for UHMS accreditation is ensuring that staff members possess the necessary qualifications and certifications. This includes hyperbaric medicine training, medical licensure, and specialized certifications. Lack of adequately trained staff can hinder accreditation efforts. Investing in comprehensive training programs and encouraging staff members to pursue relevant certifications can address this challenge.
  2. Equipment Maintenance and Safety: Hyperbaric chambers and associated equipment must meet stringent safety standards to ensure patient well-being during treatments. Regular maintenance, inspection, and equipment calibration are essential prerequisites for accreditation. Facilities may encounter obstacles related to outdated equipment, insufficient maintenance protocols, or inadequate documentation of safety checks. Establishing a robust maintenance schedule, conducting thorough equipment assessments, and maintaining detailed records can help overcome these challenges.
  3. Facility Design and Infrastructure: The physical layout and design of the hyperbaric facility play a crucial role in ensuring operational efficiency and patient comfort. Facilities seeking UHMS accreditation must comply with specific requirements regarding chamber placement, emergency egress routes, and environmental controls. Challenges may arise if the facility lacks adequate space, ventilation, or accessibility features. Conducting a thorough review of facility design, addressing deficiencies, and implementing necessary modifications can facilitate accreditation.
  4. Documentation and Quality Assurance: Comprehensive documentation is a cornerstone of UHMS accreditation, demonstrating adherence to protocols and standards. Facilities must maintain meticulous records related to patient treatments, safety procedures, equipment maintenance, and quality assurance activities. Incomplete or inaccurate documentation can impede the accreditation process. Implementing robust documentation systems, conducting regular audits, and training staff on documentation requirements can mitigate this challenge.

Navigating the path to UHMS Hyperbaric Facility Accreditation requires dedication, attention to detail, and a commitment to excellence in patient care. By addressing potential challenges proactively and implementing robust quality assurance measures, facilities can enhance their chances of achieving accreditation and demonstrate their commitment to delivering high-quality hyperbaric medicine services.

How to Prepare for an Accreditation Survey

We are excited to announce that we will host a "How to Prepare for Accreditation Survey" session on May 22 from 1:00 to 5:00 EST. If you plan to get your facility accredited or have an upcoming reaccreditation, you are most welcome to join us. During this session, we will discuss why accreditation is important, how it works, and what you must do to be well-prepared. If you're interested in attending this session, please email us, and we will send you the invite once we have all the details sorted.