Time to rehabilitation in the burn population: Incidence of zero onset days in the UDSmr national dataset


Health Promotion

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Journal of Burn Care and Research

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A preliminary investigation of the burn rehabilitation population found a large variability of zero onset day frequency between facilities. Onset days is defined as the time from injury to inpatient rehabilitation admission; this variable has not been investigated in burn patients previously. This study explored if this finding was a facility-based phenomena or characteristic of burn inpatient rehabilitation patients. This study was a secondary analysis of Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation (UDSmr®) data from 2002 to 2007 examining inpatient rehabilitation characteristics among patients with burn injuries. Exclusion criteria were age less than 18 years and discharge against medical advice. Comparisons of demographic, medical and functional data were made between facilities with a high frequency of zero onset days versus facilities with a low frequency of zero onset days. A total of 4738 patients from 455 inpatient rehabilitation facilities were included. Twenty-three percent of the population exhibited zero onset days (n = 1103). Sixteen facilities contained zero onset patients; two facilities accounted for 97% of the zero onset subgroup. Facilities with a high frequency of zero onset day patients demonstrated significant differences in demographic, medical, and functional variables compared to the remainder of the study population. There were significantly more zero onset day admissions among burn patients (23%) than other diagnostic groups (0.5- 3.6%) in the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation database, but the majority (97%) came from two inpatient rehabilitation facilities. It is unexpected for patients with significant burn injury to be admitted to a rehabilitation facility on the day of injury. Future studies investigating burn rehabilitation outcomes using the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation database should exclude facilities with a high percentage of zero onset days, which are not representative of the burn inpatient rehabilitation population. Copyright © 2013 by the American Burn Association.