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Rehab Hospitals Retooling

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, April 25, 2011
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In addition, there have been decreased bowel and bladder problems, the need for ventilator assistance has been cut from 28 days to 18 days, and LOS from 39 days to 18 days. The patients’ attitudes changed for the positive through feedback from patient-to-patient peer support teams. As a result, many felt more empowered in facing their illnesses, Rohlik says.

Specifically, they had trauma teams and rehabilitation teams join together especially for patients with onset traumatic spinal cord injury to develop a coordinated care profile for the specialized population.

Among the organizational changes:
  • Service line reorganization with the naming of an executive director of rehab and trauma services
  • Team meetings with care and support teams to enhance communication between acute care and rehab staff

WakeMed offers a continuum of services aimed at helping patients achieve their highest level of independence, Rohlik says. Within the past year, the hospital achieved 92% satisfaction scores from patients; 73% said they achieved expected outcomes, and 90% of family members said they would recommend the hospital to others.

Referring specifically to spinal cord care, 64% of patients say the hospital met or exceeded therapy goals and 92% say they were satisfied with quality of care, according to the hospital’s database.

“People are living longer, and there are different resources available than in the past,” Rohlik says. “They go to rehab, and there is the hope, no matter what, they are going home.”


Joe Cantlupe is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media Online.
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