The American Burn Association and the Shriners Hospitals for Children Outcomes Program has been in development for more than 15 years. Many of the tools and important findings are described in this special issue of The Journal of Trauma. This unique program in outcomes research introduces a model for outcome assessments from the patient-centered perspective with a cohort of 1,140 children with burn injury after hospitalization for up to 4 years. The findings represent a fundamental contribution to the field of burn care for monitoring outcomes from the perspective of the parent or child/adolescent. The Multi-Center Benchmarking Study of four burn centers serve as a model for collecting empiric scientific data on the variation and the expected trajectories of recovery in the most important domains of patient outcomes and can inform clinical decisions and the conduct of health service research. The dramatic progress in survival of children with severe burn injury and other advances in burn management can now move into a new phase of understanding the most cost-effective components of this care.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00239668.