July 2013 Edition - Health Matters

The latest news on the health and wellness issues that matter most • July 2013 Health Matters

All Rehabilitation Facilities Are Not Created Equal By Kevin Caffrey

accredited by CARF have fully embraced a commitment to continuous improvement and the implementation of quality measures to ensure a superior level of patient care and outcomes.”

As patients who have experienced a debil- itating injury or joint replacement procedure and their families know, the rehabilitation facility they utilize can impact the prospects for reclaiming a normal life. Finding a facil- ity that best suits a patient’s needs can be a challenge for family members faced with de- cisions they have had little time to research. “Rehabilitation facilities are not some- thing people investigate until there is a need,” said Heather Baker, Administrative Director of NCH Healthcare System’s Brook- dale Center for Healthy Aging & Rehabilita- tion in North Naples. “Family members of- ten have little time to prepare and end up making decisions during a time of crisis. It can be overwhelming. Each patient must be assessed based on his or her unique situation

to determine the appropriate level of care. The patient’s needs must fit the capabilities of the facility.” Two levels of care for in-patient rehabilita- tion are typically explored. The first is acute rehabilitation performed in a rehabilitation hospital. The second is care provided in a skilled nursing facility. The goal is to improve function capabilities so patients are ready to return home and to minimize the possibility of complications. “The care at an acute rehabilitation hos- pital like Brookdale includes daily medical management, access to testing, imaging, labs and an array of medical staff services,” said Baker. “Conditions are monitored and managed with tight control. Physical, occu- pational and speech therapy, cognition and adaptation to residual impairments can all be part of the regimen. Acute rehabilitation hospitals offer the most intensive and ag- gressive type of therapy available. Not every patient is ready for that. We have admissions criterion that help us determine if the pa- tient is right for us versus another setting.” Different resourcesareavailabletopatients and family members seeking an appropriate rehabilitation setting. The National Stroke Association offers a guide that outlines the levels of care provided by different facilities. This “comparative shopping guide” enables families to tour a facility, interview staff members and to ascertain the capabilities of a variety of providers. “That information can certainly help pa- tients and families make an educated decision,” said Baker. “It is also important to know if a facility is accredited by CARF International. CARF establishes the standards of practice for rehabilitation providers worldwide. Brook- dale and other facilities and organizations

Checklist for finding an Excellent Program

Has the program been in operation at least Yes No one year? Does the program have a formal system for Yes No evaluating the progress made by its patients and the overall outcomes of the stroke rehab program? Does the program have any partners that Yes No offer rehab services at other levels of care that I may eventually need (day treatment, outpatient treatment or home care)? Does the program provide a wide range Yes No of therapy services? (physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy) Does the program have on staff a full-time Yes No physiatrist or another doctor who is center if I need it? Can my doctor visit me at the rehab center? Yes No (Does he/she have visiting privileges?) Does the program have a stroke support Yes No group for survivors and their families? If not, can they refer me to a local group? Yes No Does the program use outside groups Yes No (such as consumer advocacy groups) to get ideas for serving disabled people? Does the program conduct home visits Yes No before checking people out of the center and releasing them to their homes? Are staff members required to keep up Yes No with new information about stroke and rehabilitation? How do they do so? ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ experienced in stroke and rehab medicine? Is medical care available at the rehab Yes No

Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging and Rehabilitation Physical Therapist Patti Governile works with patient Dick Cameron and his wife Susan Cameron.

Source: www.stroke.org

For additional information about the Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging & Rehabilitation, call 239-552-7222 or visit www.nchmd.org/brookdale.

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