Transfer feedback: Have we made a difference?

Ms Anne Darton1

1Agency for Clinical Innovation Statewide Burn Injury Service, St  Leonards, Australia


Introduction: Most burn-injured patients do not present to a Severe-Burn-Unit(SBU). After initial assessment of injury severity against referral/transfer criteria they are transferred to an SBU. This patient-transfer process was identified as a focus for improvement for the NSW Burn Service(SBIS). In late 2005 the SBIS developed a system of two-way feedback for burn-injured patients transferred from a hospital and admitted to a burn unit. Feedback reflects the EMSB principles of assessment and early treatment, a clinical update on the patient and invites responses from the referring clinicians. We offer ongoing burn care education. This process has continued for over 15years.
Method: Information on over 3000 feedback forms has been collected and analysed. This includes transfer issues, responses received, referral site, comparative %TBSA assessments by referring facilities and burn units. The issues arising are themed into most common areas such as %TBSA/depth assessment, Documentation, Fluid/circulatory care, transfer/communication. The information is reviewed regularly to identify areas of less than ideal care. Various strategies are developed and implemented to address these.
Result: Strategies and programs have been developed and used to target education sessions and resources, geographically and clinically. They include the development of the Trauma -App, Burn-depth recognition chart, State-form for guiding and documenting assessment and early management.
Analysis of the data shows a decrease in the % of patients with at least one issue identified and decrease in overall total number as a percentage of patients. The creation of strong networked relationships across the state has also been a positive outcome.


Anne Darton is the Clinical Network Manager for the NSW Statewide Burn Injury Service, Agency for Clinical Innovation.
In this role she is responsible for monitoring, supporting and improving burn care throughout NSW in collaboration with the multidisciplinary governing committee including consumer burn survivors. She is an active member of the Australian & New Zealand Burn Association and is currently the secretary of this organisation.
She is also a registered physiotherapist with over twenty years clinical experience; majority of this experience in the Burn Unit at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and currently teaches at multiple universities on a casual basis to physiotherapy undergraduates on burn care.

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