Adherence with early allied health assessments in specialist burn services


Appropriate multidisciplinary allied health assessment during the early stages of admission following burn injury positively influences recovery and quality of life. Variation in allied health care may affect patient outcomes. We aimed to explore adherence in providing early allied health assessments in accordance with local parameters. Associations between the number of assessments and hospital length of stay (LOS) were also explored. The Burns Registry of Australia and New Zealand was queried for adult (≥ 16 years) burn injured patients admitted to a specialist burn service for > 48 hours between July 2016 and June 2020. Quality indicator data relating to allied health assessment processes were examined; patients were grouped according to the number of assessments they received within 48 hours of admission. Of the 5789 patients included in the study, 5598 (97%) received at least one allied health assessment within 48 hours of admission and 3976 (69%) received all three assessments. A greater proportion of patients who received no assessments were admitted on a Saturday. Patients receiving three assessments had more severe injuries compared to their counterparts who received fewer assessments. Hospital LOS was not associated with the number of allied health assessments during an acute admission following burn injury after accounting for confounding factors, particularly TBSA. Multidisciplinary allied health teams provide routine burn care to Australian and New Zealand burns patients at a consistent level. Further, this study provides evidence that allied health input is prioritized towards patients with increasing severity of burn injury, playing an integral role in early rehabilitation.

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