Application for Site Visit

To initiate scheduling of a site visit, the hospital should complete the “Application for Site Visit” form and return it with payment to the ABA Central Office. The verification fee covers ABA administrative costs, plus honoraria and travel costs to the site for the surveyors. The hospital is responsible for travel costs once the surveyors arrive and all costs related to food and lodging while the surveyors are on-site.

When indicating preferred dates for the visit, please include a broad range of date parameters to avoid scheduling conflicts. Upon receipt of the application and payment, the ABA Central Office will use the visit dates the burn center specified to confirm visitors to the site. Once visitors and a visit date are confirmed, the ABA will notify the burn center via email. Letters pertaining to visit specifics will be sent out one month before the visit. Burn center representatives should communicate with surveyors’ offices regarding lodging, airport pickup and other visit details no less than ten days before the visit.

Guidelines for the Operation of Burn Centers

Chapter 14, “Guidelines for Trauma Centers Caring for Burn Patients” can be found in the current edition of the document “Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient 2014″. Burn Center Verification is overseen by the American Burn Association (ABA) Verification Committee with the endorsement of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma (ACS-COT). The criteria for Burn Center Verification (and criterion deficiencies) are subject to change in a much more fluid fashion than is possible with the publication of this chapter. The ABA, in agreement with the ACS-COT, thus presents in this chapter the principles required for the operation of burn centers.

Verification Criteria

The ABA/ACS verification was developed to externally validate quality of care by U.S. burn centers. Increasingly, the process will emphasize outcomes, in addition to evaluating infrastructure and process. The ABA verification website includes the specific requirements for verification, including criterion deficiencies. Criteria is updated and posted every July and goes into effect January 1st of the following year.

Online Pre-Review Questionnaire

Based on the Verification Criteria and Guidelines for the Operation of Burn Centers, the Pre-Review Questionnaire (PRQ) is designed to gather complete information about a burn center. It is made up of general questions pertaining to care provided in the hospital as well as organizational structure, pre-hospital and emergency care, personnel qualifications and hospital facilities.

Upon application for a site visit the hospital contact will receive a login to access the online PRQ system.

The PRQ and all related documentation (including appendices and case summaries) should be submitted online to the ABA Central Office one month before the visit takes place.

Case summaries including: all recent deaths during the previous twelve months, fiscal or calendar year; five recent non-fatal complications demonstrating QI and loop closure during the previous twelve months, fiscal or calendar years; and transfers to other burn care facilities and other acute care facilities for the past three calendar years should be sent in with the PRQ. Please ensure that each death and complication patient summary is limited to 250 words and has clear documentation of the QI process and loop closure.

Burn Centers applying for adult and pediatric must submit at least one pediatric complication for review. All burn centers must also submit one complex rehabilitation case summary.

Significant complications and case summaries definitions are as follows:

None – patient outcome is not symptomatic or no symptoms detected and no treatment is required

Minimal – patient outcome is symptomatic, symptoms are mild, loss of function or harm is minimal or intermediate but short term, and no or minimal intervention (e.g., extra observation, investigation, review or minor treatment) is required

Moderate – patient outcome is symptomatic, requiring intervention (e.g., additional operative procedure; additional therapeutic treatment), an increased length of stay, or causing permanent or long term harm or loss of function

Severe – patient outcome is symptomatic, requiring life-saving intervention or major surgical/medical intervention, shortening life expectancy or causing major permanent or long term harm or loss of function

Death – on balance of probabilities, death was caused or brought forward in the short term by the incident

Upon receipt of the PRQ, appendices and case summaries, reviewers will be notified and begin their online site report. In addition you will receive letters including additional information pertaining to the visit. These will include details on the specifics of the visit, i.e., information about the pre-review dinner meeting and review day format as well as necessary attendees, and information about charts, admissions data and other documentation that should be available for reference at the time of the review. Please contact Alice Zemelko; zemelko@ameriburn.org at the ABA Central Office with any questions.

Once the site visit is complete, the hospital burn director and administrator will be e-mailed the final site report and notification of site visit outcome. A plaque of verification will be ordered and sent with the burn center verification dates.