The Hyperbaric Medicine Department at Phelps Hospital has achieved Accreditation with Distinction for its program from the Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS). This accreditation demonstrates that the department meets the highest standards as developed by experts in the field of hyperbaric and dive medicine. The program received its first four-year accreditation in 2013.
“We strive to maintain a center of excellence for clinical hyperbaric oxygen therapy here at Phelps,” says Hyperbaric Medicine Medical Director Dr. Gary Willard. “We were awarded the ‘with distinction’ designation this year because we exceeded the requirements of UHMS evaluation, which assessed us not only for clinical practice, but also for our high standards and participation in continuing education of our team, our patients, and the community.”
Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy (HBO therapy) is a medical treatment where patients breathe 100% pure oxygen while sitting inside a pressurized chamber. Used alone and in combination with standard treatments, HBO therapy contributes to optimal outcomes for patients because it increases the amount of oxygen in the blood. Increased oxygen helps new blood vessels grow, which allows more oxygen to be delivered to tissues and organs of the body and promotes the healing process. HBO therapy is sometimes used for complicated wounds that don’t heal, often associated with diabetes. HBO therapy is also a well-established treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning and decompression sickness, a hazard of scuba diving.
The UHMS survey team evaluated the department on many criteria, including: delivery of care, safety of the facility, training and continued competence of team members, maintenance and operation of equipment, and thoroughness of patient education and assessment. The accreditation has over 600 requirements, specifications and guidelines particular to hyperbaric and dive medicine.
The UHMS, an international nonprofit organization serving more than 2,500 members in 50 countries, is the chief accrediting body and the primary source of scientific information for diving and hyperbaric medicine physiology worldwide. The society is the leading representative of the hyperbaric medical community to federal, state and local agencies on matters related to efficacy, standards of care, and reimbursement.
The 12-person hyperbaric chamber at Phelps is the largest, most state-of-the-art hyperbaric chamber in the northeastern United States, measuring 9 feet in diameter and 28 feet long.
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About Phelps Hospital
Phelps Hospital, part of Northwell Health, is a full-service 238-bed acute care community hospital located in Sleepy Hollow, NY. With more than 1,700 employees and 500 medical staff members representing 60 medical specialties, Phelps offers one of the broadest ranges of community hospital services in Westchester County. Patients benefit from distinguished physicians, many of whom are pioneers in their field, offering the most advanced procedures using the latest technology. www.phelpshospital.org. Phelps’ primary and specialty care medical group, Phelps Medical Associates, has nearly 20 practices located on the hospital campus and in the surrounding communities. www.phelpsmedicalassociates.org.
About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, nearly 700 outpatient facilities and more than 18,500 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 68,000 employees – 16,000-plus nurses and 4,000 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. We’re training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit Northwell.edu.