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Become a UHMS Hyperbaric Facility Accreditation surveyor

Surveyors are an integral part of the accreditation process. Their participation and knowledge, both practical and academic, keep the UHMS accreditation program the gold standard.

UHMS Surveyors are peers in the field – people who have expertise in hyperbaric medicine. Often, surveyor are employed by organizations that have been accredited by the UHMS Hyperbaric Facility Accreditation program. We recruit and train the most highly qualified professionals to conduct surveys, individuals who are committed to the improvement of hyperbaric medicine. As a result, the surveyors who conduct surveys for hyperbaric organizations, whether an on-site or virtual survey, are among the most knowledgeable and respected experts in the field of hyperbaric medicine.

It's not just a one-way path, either. Besides helping hyperbaric facilities improve the operations UHMS surveyors receive the following benefits: They connect with national peer groups and professional networks, learning and exchanging best practices and industry trends. They attend UHMS survey training – at no cost for virtual training and they enjoy opportunities to visit organizations in other regions.

Sound rewarding? It is. Here’s a start to the process. Read over the Q&As below and reach out with any questions to the HFA home team of Derall Garrett and Beth Hands: derall@uhms.org and beth@uhms.org

Surveyor Information

UHMS Clinical Hyperbaric Facility Accreditation Program Surveyor FAQs

(Click on the question to see the answer)

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 and hyperbaric medicine, but this is not a requirement.

Nurses and allied health care providers must also have completed an approved 40-hour introductory course and have at least three years’ experience. Hyperbaric nurses and allied health care providers must be board-certified by either the Baromedical Nurses Association (ACHRN or higher) or the National Board of Diving and Hyperbaric Medical Technicians (CHT) or American Board of Wound Healing (CHS or CHWS). It is highly desirable for the CHT/CHS surveyor to have completed hyperbaric Safety Director training.

Surveyors must be current members of the UHMS in good standing.

2. What is the application process?

Interested individuals should submit:

  1. A letter of interest.
  2. A letter of recommendation from his/her immediate supervisor or medical director.
  3. A copy of 40-hour Introductory to Hyperbaric Medicine course completion certificate.
  4. A curriculum vitae.
  5. A copy of the certificate of board certification or safety director training as appropriate.

All documents should be sent to derall@uhms.org and beth@uhms.org; there is no application deadline.

3. Will I need special training to become a surveyor?

Yes. Selected applicants must attend a one-half day training course designed to better understand the importance of accreditation, learn how the program is structured, the logistics of the survey process, and more. Unfortunately, if travel to live training is needed, the prospective surveyor must fund these expenses up front and file for reimbursement. Surveyors will be notified of the time and location of training and are encouraged to attend the session that best suits their needs. Refresher training is required annually. Some sessions are at the annual UHMS scientific meeting or virtual. All surveyors are strongly encouraged to attend.

4. What does it cost to be a surveyor?

Mainly it costs only your time and commitment to the program. Besides the out-of-pocket cost to attend initial training (if live), your participation should not be a direct financial cost to you. The Society reimburses all of a surveyor’s reasonable travel expenses for a survey. Initial expenses such as airfare, car rental, etc., must be covered by the surveyor but will be reimbursed. Expense reports are due within 20 days from completion of the survey, and payments are processed within 10 days of receipt of required documents.

Additionally, physicians receive a $1,000 honorarium for each survey. Nurses and allied health care providers (CHTs and CHSes) receive $500 (effective 1/1/15). While modest, it does help offset your time away from your primary job. Surveyors are considered as independent contractors for the UHMS.

5. How many surveys per year will I be required to conduct?

While it is not always possible, surveyors are expected to conduct at least one survey each year to maintain currency. Some surveyors have greater flexibility and can participate more frequently. The bottom line is that frequency is 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 and locations are listed on the schedule. Each surveyor indicates if he or she can or cannot be available for a specific survey. It is essential to understand that indication of availability does not mean that you will be automatically scheduled for that particular survey. Once all surveyors have responded with their availability, team assignments are made based on individual currency, location, multiplace/monoplace experience, and other considerations. The decision is made one to two months before the survey dates.

7. Who makes up the survey team?

Survey teams are composed of a physician, nurse and allied health care provider (technician).

8. When are surveys usually scheduled?

In most cases, 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. On occasion, we will have surveys that will require mid-week travel. We also schedule back-to-back surveys with these surveys; we use the same team to cover both surveys.

9. Do I make my travel arrangements?

Yes. Each team will be provided with the location of the airport most convenient to the survey site and recommended a hotel. Unless circumstances are unusual, only one rental car per team is authorized. Do not book airfare or hotel until you receive travel details from the HFA office and discuss your arrival time with the team members.

10. What happens if there is a schedule change at the last minute after I have already purchased my plane tickets?

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 UHMS directs the change, 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. If you are employed by a management company or work for one you must divulge that information. Surveyors cannot participate in surveys that fall under the same management company or consultant company that they work for.

12. Do I have to have my own laptop computer, digital camera, etc., to be a surveyor?

No, The HFA office will provide an iPad with the necessary equipment to complete the survey be shipped to an individual surveyor as needed.