Creation of a Pediatric Burn Clinic: A Model for Change

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Pediatric burns are a major source of morbidity and healthcare expenditure in the United States. Options and availability for outpatient pediatric burn treatment can be limited, potentially leading to high medical costs and delay in proper treatment. In our local community, there was no adequate, cost-effective outpatient treatment for patients with pediatric burn. In 2007, clinicians who specialize in pediatric burn care developed an outpatient pediatric burn clinic. The treatment team consisted of a pediatric nurse practitioner and four pediatric surgeons from the local children's hospital. Since opening, over 1,200 patients have been treated on a strictly outpatient basis. Kurt Lewin's three-stage model of change provided a conceptual model. The constructs include unfreeze the model pattern of burn referrals, change the pattern, and then work through a refreezing process. The burn clinic filled a need in the community by providing cost-effective outpatient specialty treatment for patients with pediatric burns. The future includes continuing ongoing marketing to the referring pediatric groups and outlying emergency department providers, expansion of staff to meet the growing needs of the community, and burn prevention community outreach.

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