Month: July 2017


The Accreditation Council (AC) of the UHMS has formally approved a new set of objective criteria that must be met for a hyperbaric facility to be accredited With Distinction (WD).  There are now nine, differentially weighted focus areas (ranging from 1 to 2 points) that are assessed in making a WD award determination.  For a hyperbaric facility to be accredited WD, the facility must achieve a minimum score of 6 out of the available 10.5 points.  To qualify relative to a given WD criteria, criteria #1-#5 must be actively met at the time of the survey.  For criteria #6-#9, the facility must demonstrate it has met the criteria at some point within the preceding three-year period (within four years for facilities that were previously accredited with distinction).  The UHMS Board of Directors has determined that qualification for criteria #1 shall be mandatory for all facilities considered for WD recognition.  The balance of the required points may be obtained by meeting any combination of the remaining eight criteria.

Note that these new WD criteria will be applied to all accreditation surveys conducted after January 1, 2018.

The new WD criteria and associated point values are as follows:

#1. The hyperbaric facility Medical Director is certified in Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine by the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM), the American Board of Preventive Medicine (ABPM), or the American Osteopathic Conjoint Committee of Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine (AOCUHM). (1 point – compliance with this element is mandatory)

#2. Through either direct provision or established formal procedures for inter-facility cooperation, ensure that all patients being seen and treated by the HBO2 facility seeking accreditation are afforded, when medically indicated, timely access to HBO2 therapy on a 24-hour per day, seven-day per week basis. (2 points)

#3. As evidenced by patient treatment records documenting the incorporation of critical care monitoring, ventilator management and/or IV infusion support during the performance of hyperbaric treatments and, concurrently, a review of existing provider credentialing files, the HBO2 facility has an adequately equipped chamber and the appropriately trained and experienced staff to provide HBO2 care to critically ill patients. (1.5 points)

#4. All eligible nurses and technicians providing clinical HBO2 care to patients are CHRN/CHT certified. (1 point)

#5. Active hyperbaric facility engagement in a Quality Improvement program (to include Process Improvement) that is:

  1. Initiated by the hyperbaric facility;
  2. Designed to create improvements in the quality of hyperbaric patient care or safety; and
  3. Evidenced by accumulated metrics, data, or impact assessments from ongoing or completed Quality Improvement projects. (1 point)

#6. Members of the hyperbaric facility deliver HBO2-focused presentations at local, regional, national or international conferences. (1 point)

#7. Hyperbaric medicine-related publication in textbooks, peer-reviewed journals, or other professionally referenced documents. (1 point)

#8. Provision of instruction in Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine.  To satisfy this criterion, one or more of the following must be in place and exercised on a recurring basis:

  1. An ACGME-approved Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Fellowship; or
  2. Educational programs that support clinical rotations, clerkships or electives for students or staff (i.e., physicians, nurses, technologists, respiratory therapists, etc.), so long as the programs have:
  3. A developed course content;
  4. Are approved by the governing body or through a collaborative education agreement with an academic institution; and
  5. Are overseen and presented by qualified instructors (i.e., UHM board-certified physicians, certified hyperbaric registered nurses, certified hyperbaric technologists); or
  6. Educational courses, lectures and presentations that either:
  7. Are ACGME-, NBDHMT- or UHMS-approved for CEU/CME credits in Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine; or
  8. Provide training that can be applied in support of formal qualification by a UHM certifying board (e.g., ABMS, NBDHMT). (1 point)

#9. Research in the field of hyperbaric medicine that is conducted both:

  1. Under an IRB-approved human use, IACUC-approved animal use or institutionally-approved equipment test and evaluation protocol; and
  2. With the intent to publish or present in UHM professional venues. (1 point)

Direct questions to the Quality Assurance & Regulatory Affairs office of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society via email at or; or call +1-210-404-1553, ext 105; fax +1 (210) 404-1535.




UHMS Seeks New Director of Hyperbaric Facility Accreditation Program

After 16 years of dedicated service, Tom Workman, the current accreditation program director, has announced his intention to retire from the UHMS effective January 1, 2018. While he will be missed, his retirement creates an exciting opportunity for a replacement to take the foundation that he created and raise the program to an even higher level. Timing is right, as the entire accreditation process is in transition – a revised manual is in the works, dedicated software to manage various aspects the accreditation program is under development and the geometric growth predicted in the early days is now happening. There is no better way to have an impact on these changes than to be directly involved as they occur.

What will the position offer the new director? Too much to describe in this short announcement, but if you are looking for the opportunity to get directly involved in all aspects of hyperbaric medicine, this might be the right fit for the right person. The director will be engaged with organizations that span our field: the Joint Commission, Det Norske Veritas, the National Board of Diving & Hyperbaric Medical Technology, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the National Fire Protection Association, the Baromedical Nurses Association, International Certifications and various federal, state and local organizations that have an impact on our community. The new director will have the honor of getting to know some of the brightest minds in medicine and work directly with a growing pool of the most talented doctors, nurses and technologist in hyperbaric medicine who unselfishly serve as accreditation program surveyors – all of this while serving as an instrument to improve the quality of care and patient safety in hyperbaric facilities across the country.

Primary requirements for the position are a bachelor’s degree or higher; previous health care management experience; hypo/hyperbaric technology experience; knowledge of industry codes and standards; and ever-present computer literacy. A detailed job description will be posted on the UHMS website at, so if you are interested in learning more about this exciting opportunity, do not hesitate to review it. For additional details, please contact John Peters, UHMS Executive Director at or by calling 877-533-8467, ext 100.